Shakespeare project to deliver for Libraries Week

Find out about the world’s first great Shakespeare library.

The Everything to Everybody Project and Mrs History have joined forces to deliver a Family Fun Day on 9th October, 1pm–4pm at The Library of Birmingham as part of Libraries Week. All activities are free, some booking is required on the day.

The afternoon of activities, inspired by Victorian Birmingham, includes art, craft, performance, tours, action and an opportunity to find out about the world’s first great Shakespeare Library, right here in Birmingham. If you’ve ever wanted to learn stage fighting, create your own stage design, contribute to a People’s Folio and perform some Shakespeare yourself, then this is the day for you.

Visitors will also have the opportunity to meet George Dawson, the man who formulated the ‘everything to everybody’ ethos, as he welcomes visitors to the Shakespeare Memorial Room and explains when and why the room was created.

Rachel Hunter Rowe of Mrs History said: “We are really excited about the Family Fun Day at the Library of Birmingham. Over the last couple of years we have been collaborating with the ‘Everything to Everybody’ Project to create a series of Shakespeare-inspired learning resources and it will be fantastic to bring them to life. We hope the activities we have planned will reveal to younger audiences the significance of the formation of the Shakespeare Memorial Library in the context of Victorian Birmingham and we hope that they’ll also be a lot of fun!”

Everything to Everybody Project Director, Professor Ewan Fernie commented: “We’ve been really looking forward to welcoming people into the Shakespeare Memorial Library, as well as to spaces throughout the Library of Birmingham, and getting them involved in our project.

“The activities which the brilliant Mrs History have in store are the perfect way to unlock the ‘everything to everybody’ ethos for younger people. They will give families of all sorts from across Birmingham the chance to learn new things, share what they know and make their own contribution to this unique dimension of Birmingham’s cultural heritage. See you there!”

The full programme of activities includes:
• Creative make and take activity with artist Sally Harper – create a piece of art including a stage design.
• Fun Fight with Historical Interpreter Mark Vance of Marks in Time – learn how to, safely, stage fight.
• People’s Folio Writing Activity – write or draw your favourite parts of Shakespeare’s plays to create a ‘People’s Folio’.
• Performances by you – perform much loved works of Shakespeare for yourself and your friends.
• Impressive Expressions – choose an emotion at random from Mrs History’s lucky dip and make an impressive expression on a face template or give your best emotion performance.
• Meet George Dawson – actor Ash Bayliss of Shout Out History becomes George Dawson meeting visitors to the Shakespeare Memorial Room, introducing them to the space and explaining why the room was created.
• Everything to Everybody Trivia Trail – follow a special Everything to Everybody trail through the building and be awarded with a special completion certificate when you complete the trail.

Family Fun Day visitors are invited to share their creations and performances via social media tagging the Everything to Everybody Project and Mrs History.

The Everything to Everybody Project is an ambitious celebration of one of the UK’s most important cultural assets: the Birmingham Shakespeare Memorial Library – not just the first great Shakespeare library in the world but also the only great Shakespeare collection which belongs to all the people of a city.

A collaboration between the University of Birmingham and Birmingham City Council, with funding contributed by National Lottery Heritage Fund and History West Midlands Everything to Everybody will give this uniquely democratic Shakespeare heritage back to people and communities across Birmingham.

To achieve this, Everything to Everybody is working in conjunction with anchor institutions and grassroots organisations across Birmingham including Mrs History. Find out more about this project and others here.