Musicians in A Comedy of Errors on stage

We commission and perform all the music that you hear when you come to a performance in our theatres.

Shakespeare's plays are filled with music: they include more than 2,000 references to music, over 400 separate musical terms and around 100 songs.

Music is crucial to any theatrical performance – the unique power of music helps to establish location, period, status, and mood; it also reinforces emotional atmosphere and tension, and drives the narrative.

Composers who have written music recently for us include:

Read the Musical Notes blog, featuring stories from our music archives.

  • Live music

    Our music is performed live, making each performance a unique event, and musicians often appear onstage as part of the action.

  • Recordings

    We are recording the newly composed scores from each production of Shakespeare's plays.

  • Musicals

    We have produced several original musicals including Les Miserables and Matilda The Musical.

  • Music archive

    Our music archive holds about 426 scores composed for Shakespeare plays, written by around 110 different composers.

  • Video: Composing for Henry IV

    Composers Paul Englishby and Edward Gregson on writing music for the stage.

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Teaching Shakespeare