This summer, we will be curating a major interactive exhibition to showcase the Shakespeare Memorial Library in Birmingham.
The ‘Everything to Everybody’ Project is a collaboration between the University of Birmingham and Birmingham City Council to revive the city's Shakespeare Memorial Library in the Library of Birmingham. The Library was the first great Shakespeare library in the world and remains the largest Shakespeare collection held in any public library anywhere. It's also believed that the Brummie accent is closest to the way people would have spoken in Elizabethan England.
To help bring this legacy to the people of Birmingham, we will be curating the free ‘Everything to Everybody: Your Shakespeare, Your Culture’ exhibition at the Library from 22 July - 5 November. It invites audiences to immerse themselves in the People's Shakespeare Library, home to thousands of items of Shakespearean history, including 17,000 production photographs, 2,000 music scores and 15,000 performance programmes.
The interactive exhibition will feature a brand new spoken word piece by Birmingham’s Poet Laureate Casey Bailey and showcase the library's copy of the First Folio, The People's Folio, owned by the people of Birmingham, which will also tour venues and communities across the city over 2022-23.
Both the exhibition and Folio tour were announced at the premiere of the film Shakespeare’s Coming Home, created by the Project with the RSC and The REP. Filmed during 2020, it features Adrian Lester and Frank Skinner celebrating Birmingham’s Shakespeare heritage.