Saturday 3rd June | 11am - 4pm

As part of the University of Birmingham and Birmingham City Council’s Everything to Everybody project, the city’s copy of Shakespeare’s first folio - the first book of Shakespeare’s works - is coming to Smethwick for the first time EVER!

Check out the full schedule here

What’s On?

Shakespeare’s Works - The First Folio

Drop in to view one of the first ever copies of Shakespeare’s collected plays and poems, printed in 1623.  It’ll be visiting us in it’s own protected case and with 2 security guards to keep it safe.  This one is precious, and it’ll be in the heart of Smethwick for all to see.

Audio Description of the folio materials will be available in English.

Film Projections

Throughout the day we will be showing pages from the Folio on the projector screen, along with some great performances of famous passages from Shakespeare.

Reading Corner with Bear Bookshop

Ever felt that Shakespeare isn’t for you?  Didn’t understand a word? Well come and sit alongside Jenny from Bearwood’s Bear Bookshop as she opens up the world of Shakespeare to adults and children alike.

Kurly McGeachie - Poet MC

Kurly McGeachie, Birmingham Poet Laureate finalist, will join us all day as our MC and our poet-in-residence for the day, devising and performing new poetry as well as some of Shakespeare’s most classic sonnets.

Meet & Greet Elizabethan Performers from Spectra Arts

Spectra Arts CIC, neurodiverse theatre company working with learning disabled artists, will welcome you with Elizabethan characters in costume.  Be sure to say hello - maybe with a curtsy or a bow?

Elizabethan Makerspace with The Parakeet Studio CIC

Inspired by the weird and wonderful creations of Shakespeare, our Maker Space is the perfect place for kids to explore, invent, and build to their heart's content. Join us for a day of sweet-smelling potions, where we'll mix up magical ingredients to create our own special brews. Try your hand at writing with a quill, just like the scribes of old. Make your own mini-folio and fill it with your own creative writing.

But that's not all - we'll also be making fairy headdresses and dressing up as Peaseblossom, Moth, Cobweb, and Mustardseed.

Perform a Scene!

Experienced theatre practitioner Kate Perry invites you to join her rehearsal techniques workshop.  For ages 10-99, you’ll be performing a real scene from a Shakespeare play by the end of the workshop! 

Please book your place for this session below.

Compose your own Shakespearian Insults!

Rachel Green Drama Queen presents an interactive and educational fun workshop for all of the family to watch and learn from! Come and create your own fun insults inspired by the words of the Bard.

Suitable for families and ages 7 years upwards.

Please book your place for this session below.

King Lear by Oddbodies Theatre Company

Oddbodies Theatre’s one-man King Lear premiered to five star reviews and wonderful audience feedback at the 2019 Brighton Fringe Festival. Smethwick is a stop on their UK tour and we’re delighted they will bring alive this classic play of Shakespeares, with a 1hr 20min physical theatre performance suitable for ages 14+

This show will be BSL interpreted.

This is a pay what you can event - please book your place for this session below and pay what you can on the day.  

Grab your dancing shoes!

Watch along, or join in with, the dances from the time of Elizabeth I! Gloriana Living History will be with us over lunch & we challenge you to get your dancing shoes on, and imagine yourself in some regal Elizabethan costume!

History of the Folio Talk By University of Birmingham’s Shakespeare Institute

Come to our lecture by an academic from the University of Birmingham, who will explain all about the First Folio: what it is, why we have this one in Birmingham, and the amazing collection it is part of - which we all have access to!


The Dorothy Parkes Centre is a fully accessible venue, all on one level with accessible toilets and baby changing facilities.

If you have any questions about access, please contact Lizzie at [email protected]

Book a place

Ticket Quantity Price

Rehearsal techniques workshop 11am - 12pm

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Insults drama workshop 12pm - 1pm

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King Lear 2pm - 3.20pm

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History of the Folio Talk 3.30pm - 4pm

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