Workshops & Events

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Our artistic director Jenny Caron Hall in a
Research Conversation at the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, January 11th, 2023
Listen on playback free of charge
by clicking this link for the  Shakespeare Birthplace Trust Website

The second SHAKE Festival weekend was held 24-25 September 2022
 at The Cut arts centre in Halesworth, Suffolk UK 


Very uplifting and inspiring ♦ A spectacular success
What a big-hearted, fascinating, generous festival! Compelling and funny
It was like a really thrilling, stimulating party ♦ I loved it very much
I loved hearing Edward Hall talk ♦ I loved the whole weekend ♦ It was hugely enjoyable
Great fun and a brilliant experience ♦ Do we have to wait a whole year for the next one?
I really loved it ♦ I thoroughly enjoyed the whole dayI loved every minute of it
What a lovely atmosphere ♦ It was inspiring and stimulating and utterly wonderful from start to finish
 I had a lovely time at SHAKE and it was very inspiring for me ♦ Very special
The weekend has brought back to me why I fell in love with theatre

1.   GERALDINE JAMES - Playing Portia and Imogen - Talk 

2.   EDWARD HALL - The Making of Propeller Theatre Company– Talk

3.  ALAN COX - The Taming of the Shrew -

Workshop with Wendy Morgan, Alistair Hall, Richard Blaine, Helen Adie and Katie MacRae

4.   BOLD AND SAUCY WRONGS - Original songs - Music Performance

5.   STEPHEN UNWIN - Poor Naked Wretches -Talk

6.    ISSY van Randwyck & STEFAN Bednarczyk- Kiss Me Kate & West Side Story- Musicals Workshop

7.   Prof GRACE IOPPOLO - Henslow/Alleyn Archive -Talk

8.   PETER HAMILTON DYER - Globe Performance Workshop

9.    TIM FITZHIGHAM & THOM TUCK – Mr & Mrs Scottish Play - Comedy Performance

10.  DIANA QUICK - Venus & Adonis (1593)- Reading

11.  PAUL BENNEY – Video Art- Theatre Backwall

12. JENNY HALL – The Book of Thomas Moore - Verse Talk

13. MALACHY KING & FRIENDS - Sonnets - Reading



Summer 2021

The Winter's Tale

A fully rehearsed reading, performed live and streamed to YouTube on July 31st, 2021, at 19:30
Due to the rise of the Delta variant, and concerns for the safety of our 25-strong team,
our rehearsed reading was performed on Zoom rather than at the theatre
at Sands Films Studios, as originally planned.

Cast: Oliver Cotton, Mark Quartley, Charlotte Hamblin, Wendy Morgan, Leo Wringer, Maia Jemmett,
Tim Fitzhigham, Barnaby Taylor, Michael Mears, Rob Myles, Pamela Miles, Alistair Hall,
Louis J. Rhone, Helen Adie, Malachy King, Josh Fish, Andrew Mockler and Katherine MacRae.
Music by Oliver Wass and Finn Collinson. Animated painting backdrop by Paul Benney
Directed by Jenny Hall
"Well done to SHAKE Festival and to superb Winter's Tale cast and Jenny Caron Hall for last night's moving
rendition of top Shakespeare, voiced & realised on zoom. Remarkable technical achievement."
Allegra Productions

"Mark Quartley is a towering Leontes" Maryam Philpott, The Review Hub

"There are strong supporting performances from Charlotte Hamblin’s dignified Hermione, Leo Wringer’s kindly and wise Camillo and especially Wendy Morgan as a forceful and grave Paulina whose few scenes are a particular highlight." 
Maryam Philpott, The Review Hub

"Tim Fitzhigham’s Autolycus steals the show with actor-musicianship on a trusty guitar, with inter-scene interludes from Oliver Wass on the harp and Finn Collinson on the recorder. Barnaby Taylor’s Florizel was highly engaging, while Maia Jemmett as his lover Perdita makes the most of the relatively few lines she has." London Theatre 1.

"that was really superb - everyone was so very good in every way and it was totally absorbing" (audience member)

"Il faut ainsi saluer les superbes performances, notamment de Mark Quartley (Leonte), Charlotte Hamblin (Hermione), Wendy Morgan (Paulina) pour la dimension tragique ou de Leo Wringer (Camillo) ou Tim Fitzhigham (Autolycus) pour la dimension comique voire farcesque. Et dans le rôle de l’émouvante Perdita, la jeune Maia Jemmett, (fille d’Irina Brooke) fait des étincelles." Laetitia Hearteau, pour Esprit Paillettes

Curtain Call, Winter's Tale

A Midsummer Night's Dream was performed once, live, online on 31st March 2021

Dan Stevens and Rebecca Hall starred as Oberon/Theseus & Titania/Hippolyta. Luisa Omielan played Bottom the Weaver, Robert Hands played Peter Quince and Wendy Morgan played Puck. Mark Quartley played Snout/Wall, and Joseph Blatchley played Starvelling/Moonshine.

The four Lovers were Daniel Bowerbank, Máiréad Tyers, Barnaby Taylor and Louis Rudnicki, and Egeus was played by David Sibley.

East Anglian locals in the cast included Malachy King, Daisy Martineau and Phoebe Martineau who played fairies, as well as Tim Fitzhigham (Flute/Thisby), Ed Hughes who played Snug/Lion and Richard Blaine who played Philostrate. Mia Lakha (The Prince of Egypt) and her sister Lana Lakha were Mustardseed and Moth in Titania's train.

Reviews & Audience Feedback for A Midsummer Night's Dream

"Jenny Hall's emphasis on her starry reading of the play via Zoom lay very much with the text, which looked to be in safe hands at a rehearsal I eavesdropped on the previous week." Matt Wolf, The New York Times. 

'Dan Stevens' suave performance as Oberon was a prime asset in this production of A Midsummer Night's Dream." The Times. 

"Rebecca Hall went further, simply seducing the screen with generous lashings of old-fashioned sex appeal." The Arts Desk.

"A strong cast and a classic work allow this production to transcend limitations of the digital format." The Stage.

"Jenny Caron Hall brought a captivating reading filled to the brim with stars to our screens last night as part of her SHAKE Festival, which last year saw Geraldine James starring in The Tempest." Broadway World.

Absolutely brilliant.. cast was amazing.. well done to everyone. Thank you SHAKE festival...we were transported. what are you doing next? We can't wait(audience member)
"It was brilliant! So many highlights. Impeccable timing and superb cast!" Paul O.

I found that I noticed the beauty and the poetry of the language more than in a theatre. Maureen H.

Made me laugh a lot!" Sam R

"Thank you so much for bringing the theatre to our home (upper Bavaria, in my case)! Amazing performance - I loved it and am smitten with the cast! Athens royalty, Puck and Peter Quince's folks, you know that you are brilliant and I wish you could all have had three curtain calls at least. And those amazing young people should have had FLOWERS thrown to them! Thank you for this evening!" Sabine

Sonnets & Carols          

23rd December 2020, Tea-time

A Selection of Sonnets and Music, starring Harriet Walter and Janet Suzman

with Wendy Morgan, Tim Fitzhigham, Ben Elder, Katherine MacRae and Barnaby Taylor  

"So moving and beautiful. Feels like an absolute gift today to have watched you all." Andrée C.

"A light in the darkness. Some order amongst the confusion. Thank you so much. Some calm in the storm. We loved it."
Louise C.

November 19th 2020
The Tempest was a fully rehearsed reading of Shakespeare's play, live-streamed to Youtube from zoom,

starring Geraldine James and Rebecca Hall

with Wendy Morgan, Robert Hands, Josephine Woodford, David Sibley, Barnaby Taylor, Lauryn Canny,
Amesh Edireweera, Antonio Aakeel, Tim Fitzhigham, Aidan Cheng, Ben Elder, Katherine MacRae and Richard Blaine.

'Thank you so much. I had forgotten how much I missed the wonder and beauty of Shakespeare. I loved it.' Jane H.

'I have never listened so carefully, and so enjoyably' Peter A.

'A resounding stunning success!' Dale P

'You got the whole atmosphere without props or scenery, and Prospero's last speech brought tears to my eyes.

Everyone was so good.' Caroline W.

'Geraldine James's Prospero was wonderful - she brought such a different hue to the part and the play' Fiona M.

'OMG totally enthralling. Loved it all. Congratulations to all — now that's how to zoom Shakespeare!' Liz W.

'Wonderful voices, bringing the whole play vividly to mind!' Jean G.

The inaugural SHAKE Festival weekend was held at The Cut in Halesworth, 25/26/27 October 2019

FRIDAY 25 October The Three Inch Fools presented Much Ado About Nothing.

SATURDAY 26 October
Lucy Bailey, Titus Andronicus workshop.
Tim FitzHigham - An Audience with 3 Actors & 3 Monologues, with Joe Sowerbutts, Ben Elder and Beth Keys-Holloway.
Dame Harriet Walter: Shakespeare & Gender (talk + performance with Ian Kelly + Q&A).
Jenny Hall, Kids Verse Workshop.
Dr Bonnie Lander-Johnson: Flowers, Folklore and Shakespeares Rural Upbringing. Lecture with actors Tamara Hinchco and Tom Marshall.
Caroline Mummery and Roger Eno: (dance workshop) Ariels Song set to original music.
Richard OBrien, Verse Drama from Shakespeare to the Present, with actors Roderick Smith, Judith Sharp and Richard Blaine.
Ian Kelly: "Shakespeare, Garrick and the Birth of an Icon (lecture).
Film Screening: David Tennant plays Hamlet at the RSC.

SUNDAY 27 October 2019
Jenny Hall The Rhetoric of Shakespeare's Women - workshop with actors Dame Harriet Walter and Judith Sharp.
Prof Grace Ioppolo: 'Vagrant and licentious rabble' The life of a travelling actor in Shakespeare's England (lecture).
Tim FitzHigham, An Audience with 3 Actors and 3 Monologues. With Joe Sowerbutts, Ben Elder & Beth Keys-Holloway.
Jo Carrick, ' Forest Theatre & Why Shakespeare Works Outdoors.'
John Wyver of Illuminations Media: Filming Shakespeare On Stage for the RSC (talk).
A rare film: Peter Hall's RSC A Midsummer Nights Dream, 1959,starring Diana Rigg, Albert Finney, Vanessa Redgrave, Ian Holm and Charles Laughton.
Jenny Hall, Rhythm & Rhymes (Teens Verse Workshop)
Cordelia Monsey, Shakespeare's Sonnets Workshop.


During October/November we also presented SHAKE Art - a selling exhibition in the Malt Room Gallery,

featuring ten local and international artists inspired by Shakespeare: Stuart Pearson Wright, Celia Lyttelton, Paul Benney, Jenny Polak,

Bill Jackson, Katrin MacGibbon, Kitty Arden, Renata Adela, Eamonn McCabe, Jenny Caron Hall

The Shakespeare Festival based in Suffolk, UK

SHAKE is a new Shakespeare Festival which began life at The Cut art centre in Halesworth, Suffolk, UK in 2019. The creative director is Jenny Hall.

The first weekend of events in 2019 revolved around workshops, films, talks with Q&A, music, poetry readings, dance, performance, and feasting!

Jenny Hall was invited to create this festival at The Cut by the late James Holloway. Since the pandemic struck, we've become creators of fully rehearsed online play readings, under the banner, SHAKE Festival Presents.

Tickets for our events and performances are available from our BOX OFFICE on Ticketsource

We owe grateful thanks to our Friends, Volunteers and Supporters: Victoria Seale Jones, Genevieve Christie, Sara Keene, Diana Hiddleston, Janine Edge, Carol and Oscar Graves-Johnston, Lysie Kihl, Julia Sowerbutts, Caroline Wiseman, Rob Gildon and Colin Tricker at Benhall Lodge Estate Office. Most of all to Peter, Sam, Aafke and Simon Raven at The Cut.

SHAKE Festival was structured as an unincorporated Community Association, generously supported by the Backstage Trust, the Golsoncott Foundation, Rodney and Zmira Hornstein, Geraldine Harmsworth, Scarfe Trust, Suffolk County Council, East Suffolk Council, The Mackintosh Foundation, Spectra Packaging, Charnwood Milling Company Ltd, Micronizing Company Ltd in Framlingham and a benefactor who wishes to remain anonymous.

In June 2021, SHAKE FESTIVAL CIC was registered at Companies House as a Community Interest Company. Our Directors are Jenny Hall, Aafke Groeneveld, Dame Harriet Walter, Geraldine James OBE and Alys Kihl. Our CIC company number is 13459942

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