Guildhall School

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For Shakespeare400, the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, one of the world’s leading conservatoires and drama schools, presented 'Go, make you ready' , a multi-disciplinary interpretation of Shakespeare’s sonnets. The series of performances were curated by famed British voice coach, author and theatre director, Patsy Rodenburg, and starred some of the UK’s best rising talent.

The work of William Shakespeare changed theatre, language and even, some say, the perceptions we have of ourselves. His sonnets of 1609 give us an insight into his intellectual and personal passions, and they inform and merge with many of his plays. Using the sonnets as springboards into his creative and personal life, Go, make you ready, explored the theatre, acting, passions and politics of Shakespeare’s life.

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Patsy Rodenburg said of Go, make you ready: "Although I started with the sonnets as an educational tool I became very intrigued by their content. It seems to me that Shakespeare is practising or intensely exploring themes in his sonnets that resonate all through his plays. They seem to feed and impact his theatrical work. Themes like the misuse of power, the tension between conditional and unconditional love, the balance between man-made and divine justice and unrequited love. These themes are woven into personal relationships. This ability to write the epic alongside the personal is one of Shakespeare’s great theatrical achievements. The publication of the sonnets has also worried and engaged me. How did Anne, his wife, react if and when she read them?"

Listen to the directors Patsy Rodenburg and Sue Lefton, DSM Ellie Cheyette, and cast members Bessie Carter and Akpore Uzoh to chat about the production:

Go, make you ready opened in London in March 2016 before touring China in April.