William Shakespeare Fact File

William Shakespeare Fact File

A Midsummer Night’s Dream writer William Shakespeare is arguably one of the most renowned playwright’s of his era with countless productions of his works still shown across the world today! Check out these interesting facts about the infamous playwright:

  • Shakespeare was born 26 April 1564, Stratford. 


  • He wrote 38 plays and 154 sonnets.


  • The first publishing of Shakespeare’s works, Mr. William Shakespeare's Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies, commonly referred to as the ‘First Folio’ was published in 1623. It is considered one of the most influential books ever published and is held at the National Library of Scotland in Edinburgh, Scotland.

        Printed in folio format and containing 36 of Shakespeare’s plays.

  • Romantic poet John Keats kept a bust of Shakespeare near his desk in the hope that Shakespeare would spark his creativity
  • Shakespeare worked as an actor, writer and co-owner of a drama company called the ‘Lord Chamberlain’s Men’


  •  Shakespeare was acquainted with Queen Elizabeth I.
  • After the death of Queen Elizabeth I, Shakespeare’s company was awarded a royal patent by the new King James I and changed its name to the Kings Men.


  • Shakespeare acted in many of his plays.


  • In 1599, the company built their own theatre, The Globe on the south banks of the River Thames.
  • The play Hamlet was based on a well-known Scandinavian legend called – Amleth.


  • Shakespeare’s plays contain 200 references to dogs and 600 references to birds.


  • Macbeth was often unpopular for its reference to witches which created fear in the middle ages. There remains a long theatre superstition of saying aloud the name ‘Macbeth’


  • Many of Shakespeare’s plays have been made in to cinematic blockbuster releases for the big screen, including:

       - Baz Luhrman’s 1996 version of Romeo and Juliet starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Claire Danes.

       - The 1999 smash-hit 10 Things I Hate About You starring Julia Stiles and Heath Ledger is a brightly contemporary retelling of The Taming of The Shrew.

       - Vishal Bhardwaj’s 2003 film Maqboo is a modern day Macbeth relocated to the murky Mumbai crime underworld starring Irrfan Khan and Bollywood legend Tabu

  • Shakespeare’s grave includes a curse against moving his bones.


Do not miss our online live zoom adaptation of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream from Thu 24 – Sat 27 September. More info and book here