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Shakespeare & Poland Festival

Shakespeare and Poland Festival, Stratford-upon-Avon, 22-23 June 2024



The Polish Cultural Institute in London is delighted to present another edition of the Shakespeare & Poland Festival in Stratford-upon-Avon and invites you to participate in an engaging and vibrant weekend programme of events celebrating Polish cultural heritage, and the cultural connections between Britain and Poland through literature, theatre and music.


The festival, which is organised together with Stratford-based Polish community organisation Copernicana CIC, follows on from several successful editions of the festival in previous years and seeks to build on the already established Polish links made in Stratford-upon-Avon which include the statue of Jan Kochanowski, a Renaissance Polish poet and contemporary of Shakespeare that stands in the sculpture garden at Anne Hathaway’s cottage.

This year’s festival kicks off on Saturday 22 June at 7pm, with the captivating theatrical production Made of Stone at the Stratford Playhouse. Presented by Krakow’s acclaimed street theatre company ‘Scena Kalejdoskop’, Made of Stone is a play for all ages, blending forgotten tales and legends in a magical mountain kingdom, where audiences will be able to encounter stunning forests and mystical creatures brought to life through amazing masks and unique costumes, set to the enchanting music of Polish composers. Based on Polish highland legends, Made of Stone demonstrates deep parallels with the dramatic and poetic storytelling used by William Shakespeare. (Tickets £10/£7).


Workshop at last year's festival. Photos by Kamila & Radosław Maziuk.

On Sunday 23 June, you are invited to participate in one of two Venetian Mask-making Workshops at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre (The Welcome Space (Paccar Room) Level 2) between 10:30am-11:30am or 12:00-13:00.  

Led by experienced instructors from Krakow’s acclaimed street theatre company ‘Scena Kalejdoskop’ these practical and fun workshops, which take inspiration from Shakespeare’s play The Merchant of Venice, will introduce participants to traditional techniques and materials and allow them to make their own mask to take home. The workshops are FREE, but booking is required.


Following the first Venetian Mask-making workshop, between 11:30am -12:00pm on Sunday 23 June, on Bancroft Terrace outside the Royal Shakespeare Theatre, audiences will have the chance to see a special FREE outdoor event, the Folk Reflections: Walkabout Performance in which three, larger than life figures will perform in spectacular colourful costumes presenting traditional folk dress from different regions of Poland. An opportunity here to make a contribution to Refugee Week (17-23 June) under the theme of ‘Our Home’.


Also, on Sunday 23 June at 3pm at Stratford Town Hall acclaimed star of stage and screen Dame Janet Suzman will return to Stratford-upon-Avon to take part in the round table discussion “Transformations – Shakespeare’s theatre in Poland and the woman’s voice” in which participants will be able to listen to a conversation between leading performers, directors and scholars, exploring Shakespeare’s unique impact in Poland.

Dismissal of the Greek Envoys from last year's festival. Photos by Kamila & Radosław Maziuk.


Also taking part in the discussion will be internationally renowned theatre and opera director Helena Kaut-Howson, who will talk about her revolutionary staging of award-winning actor Kathryn Hunter as King Lear in the 1997 production of the play at the Young Vic. There will also be insight from scholars Professor Tiffany Stern, Professor Elizabeth Schafer and Aneta Mancewicz, as well as a dramatic performance from actress Hara Yannas of The Death of Ophelia written by Stanislaw Wyspianski. The event is FREE but booking is required.

Last year's concert. Photos by Kamila & Radosław Maziuk.

Closing this year’s festival on Sunday 23 June at 7pm at Stratford Town Hall, will be “From Poland with Music”, a classical music concert which will take listeners on a journey through Poland’s lively and varied musical tradition through the light and lyrical works of some of the country's greatest composers, performed on the piano and violin. 

The concert will be performed by talented and established musicians Anna Szałucka (piano) and Jaga Klimaszewska (violin). Tickets are £14 and all proceeds from ticket sales for the concert will be donated to The Shakespeare Hospice.


For tickets to all events plus the full programme visit:

Poster Designs for main festival and all events: Babak Safari.



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