Saved events

Interpreting Shakespeare: a Modern Retrospective

Six-week evening course

A person is taking a white book from a shelf. The book says 'Shakespeare' on the front in red text.

Explore how the brilliant works of Shakespeare still inform our understanding of the world today in this six-week in-person evening course.

This six-week in-person course will explore how the brilliant works of Shakespeare still inform our understanding of the world today. Shakespeare's ingeniosity lies in the way he leaves space in his plays for us to step in with our own imaginations. 

Take a journey through the many ways that Shakespeare has been interpreted since his time through to the modern day, whether as a political weapon, a tool for social change, or a voice for revolution. 

The course will be a mixture of lecture-based teaching, with presentations from the tutor, breakout discussion groups and Q&As with actors and special guests.

The course will take place in person at the Barbican Centre on Wednesday evenings 7 - 9 pm, 26 January, 2, 9, 16, 23 February and 2 March 2022. The course is suitable for those 18+. Spaces are limited so early booking is encouraged.

The deadline for bookings is 9am on Friday 21 January 2022.

Please contact [email protected] for more information.

In the event of government restrictions, the course will move online and be delivered via Zoom.

Course information


Participants must be aged 18+ and have sufficient English language skills to cope with course demands.

Who is the course for?

All levels of experience and familiarity with Shakespeare, and an enthusiasm for Shakespeare's plays would be useful.

What can I expect to learn?

A mix of lecture-based teaching, with presentations from the tutor, breakout discussion groups, Q&As with actors and special guests and group activities. During the sessions you will also watch clips from performances of Shakespeare's plays and listen to music inspired by his work.

Between each session, there will be optional material available if you would like to investigate the themes of the session further.

Topics we'll cover include:

  • Shakespeare in his own time 
  • LGBTQ+ perspectives on Shakespeare
  • Shakespeare and colonialism 
  • Shakespeare and revolution 
  • Shakespeare and dance 
  • Discover new ways of accessing Shakespeare’s plays
  • Understand how Shakespeare has informed our culture today

Do I need anything for the course?

Access to a complete works of Shakespeare, either as a hard copy or for free online at 

About the Course Tutor

The course is led by Lucinda Dawkins.

Lucie is the co-artistic director of SCRUM Theatre, and works as a freelancer for Cheek by Jowl as assistant director, dramaturg, and host of their podcast ‘Not True, But Useful…’

She holds an MFA in theatre direction from the David Geffen School of Drama at Yale, where she was the Cullman Scholar in Directing and is currently working with Declan Donnellan on his new book on directing and acting Shakespeare.


Barbican Centre