York International Shakespeare Festival09.05 – 18.05 2019

The York International Shakespeare Festival is a major new cultural venture for York and for the North of England. It emerges from a new partnership between the York Theatre Royal, the University of York and Parrabbola.

With a 2000 year history, York is at one and the same time both Roman and Medieval, a military and mercantile centre, with a Victorian industrial heritage and a thriving modern outlook. One of the most beautiful and most historic cities in Britain, York was the powerhouse of the North of England in Shakespearean times and is the ideal location to reflect on the variety and complexity of Shakespeare as Europe’s playwright.

York International

Shakespeare Festival 2017

York International Shakespeare Festival is a partnership between York Theatre Royal, the University of York and Parrabbola.

Our second festival features a vibrant range of productions and reinterpretations of Shakespeare from around the world. Alongside two compelling productions on the York Theatre Royal main stage, the Studio also plays host to internationally acclaimed theatre which explores some of the characters and questions thrown up by Shakespeare’s writing.

Theatre of all kinds, film, music and talks all combine to ensure this year’s festival entertains, provokes and excites. This year’s festival listings with links to booking pages are below:

York Theatre Royal Main House
Romeo + Juliet | 16 May 7.30pm | 17 May 2.30pm | 20 May 7.30pm
Twelfth Night | 18 May 7.30pm | 19 May 7.30pm | 20 May 2.30pm

York Theatre Royal Studio
7/7 The Dance of Life in Seven Steps | 15 May 7.45pm | 16 May 7.45pm
Waiting for Othello | 17 May 7.45pm | 18 May 7.45pm
Gratiano: Grist to the Mill | 18 May 9.15pm
Henry V (Man and Monarch) | 19 May 7.45pm | 20 May 1pm & 7.45pm

University of York
YorkShakes Talks | 15 – 20 May




The York International Shakespeare Festival has launched in May 2015 for the first of its annual Spring programmes and had included productions by major established companies delivering Shakespeare in recognisable and affecting ways alongside experimental new work challenging received ideas about specific plays and, in some cases, about the business of theatre itself. As a member of the prestigious European Shakespeare Festivals Network, we look forward to fruitful and exciting collaborations with other Shakespeare festivals across Europe.

The new York International Shakespeare Festival will feature exciting and adventurous artists both from around the world and from closer to home, with a focus on the Shakespeare of the North. In addition, some of Shakespeare’s many lives and afterlives across other media – including film, music and fine art – will be richly explored as part of the programme. There will be family friendly events for children, and an international conference for academics. Young people will produce a series of events designed to appeal to young audiences, and a showcase opportunity will profile experimental and innovative work, to promoters and Shakespeareans from the UK and overseas.

With banners throughout the city, performances on the streets, in the theatres, in churches and simply popping up where you least expect them, and with an influx of Shakespeareans from around the world, for the ten days of the Festival – York will be the city of Shakespeare.


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