How well do you know Shakespeare’s plays? We test your knowledge as Suffolk prepares to mark 400th anniversary of the Bard’s death

LAMDA's production of A Midsummer Night's Dream.

LAMDA's production of A Midsummer Night's Dream. - Credit: Archant

Have you ever been on a wild goose chase or been eaten out of house and home? Do you have a heart of gold and are more sinned against than sinning?

Well, the naked truth is that we have William Shakespeare to thank for these every-day sayings and so many more, writes Martine Silkstone.

Even in this brave new world we still use countless words and phrases written by a man who has been dead as a doornail for 400 years (including all those shown here in bold). His poetic writing may set your teeth on edge, and perhaps it’s not for the faint-hearted, but that’s neither here nor there.

Maybe you think ‘it’s all Greek to me’, but for goodness’ sake, give it a chance. You don’t have to cover all the plays in one fell swoop.

Indeed, a snail-paced approach may be best for those new to his work. But if you think it’s high time you were introduced to the Bard, then as good luck would have it, there are many events taking place around Suffolk this year to mark the 400th anniversary of his death on Saturday, April 23.


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The story of four lovers who get themselves in a pickle trying to escape marriage matches by fleeing to the woods is bound to have you in stitches. Tickets from £8.50. Box Office 01284 769505.

Kentwell Hall - Romeo and Juliet If you are fancy free from July 29 to 31, then Kentwell Hall in Long Melford is offering a series of ‘Picnic and a Play’ events where you can enjoy performances of the tragic love story Romeo and Juliet , and the lighter comedy As You Like It.

Visit their website for more information.

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New Wolsey Theatre - A Midsummer Night’s Dream The comedy will be staged at the Ipswich theatre from June 16 to July 9. Tickets from £10.

More information available on their website.

Ickworth House - Much Ado About Nothing Ickworth House near Bury St Edmunds, July 3 will be hosting a performance of this well-known Shakespearean play. Tickets from £10. More information from the National Trust website.

Sudbury’s Quay Theatre - The Tempest

Sudbury’s Quay Theatre, will be staging The Tempest from July 5 to 9. Call 01787 374745 for information.

Woolpit Village Hall - Shakespeare Revue

The Woolpit Drama Group take to stage on April 21, 22, 23, for this production which is a cabaret of songs and sketches with material from contributors like the late Victoria Wood, Stephen Fry, Cole Porter, Alan Bennett, Stephen Sondheim and many more.

A collection of witty songs and sketches, the revue gathers together some of the finest comic material inspired by Shakespeare, from music hall to Monty Python. Tickets costing £10 and £6 from Elm Tree Gallery, in Woolpit, or telephone 01359 242283 to book.

Glemham Hall - Much Ado About Nothing The performance of Much Ado About Nothingtakes place in the gardens of Glemham Hall near Woodbridge, July 11. Tickets from £10.

More information available here.

It seems that all the world’s a stage...and so we come full circle. What’s done is done and all’s well that ends well.

 

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