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Much more a comedy gig than a lecture, James Sheldrake brings the spirit of his podcast (Sheldrake on Shakespeare) to the stage for an hour of anecdote, insight, performance, analysis and laughter. An English teacher by trade, he has had quite enough of the classroom and wants to share his love of Shakespeare in a much more comic style.

Prepare for a mind-broadening evening that won’t feel too much like a mind-broadening evening! Whether you know everything or nothing about Shakespeare, this show will entertain and enlighten. What Keith Floyd was to food, this show is to Shakespeare.

Shakespeare’s legacy of the moment is his playfulness. We live in an unplayful age in many ways and Shakespeare consistently reminds us of the extraordinary and positive power of play. And yet too often we meet his work in ways that are dry as dust: in a book tediously to be studied or a story that we think we already know too well or a production that treats moments of profound uncertainty as foregone conclusions. Ricocheting between live performance of some of Shakespeare’s greatest moments, academic criticism and flights of fancy, in this show I explore how we might breathe a bit more life and playfulness back into Shakespeare. And yes, believe it or not, there will be jokes.

There are three previews in London and one in Oxford during June and July – then a week at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in August:


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Friday 2nd June 2023, 7pm – Etcetera Theatre, Camden

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Thursday 8th June 2023, 7.30pm – Old Fire Station, Oxford


Friday 14th July 7pm – Rosemary Branch Theatre, Islington/Dalston

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Sunday 23rd July 6pm – Barons Court Theatre


Edinburgh Fringe Festival

Friday 4th August to Saturday 12th August, Paradise in Augustine, The Vault



Podcast on iTunes

Podcast on Amazon

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Podcasting on Shakespeare is a profound pleasure in its own right.

If, however, you would like to buy me a coffee, please use the link below:

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For the Edinburgh live show in particular, this is the crowd-funder: