Playing Shakespeare – curtain coming down very soon

Our Treasures exhibition – Playing Shakespeare: 400 years of great acting– part of this year’s world-wide commemoration of Shakespeare’s death in 1616, is coming to the end of its run, with only a few days left. Monday 13 June is your last chance to see four centuries of Shakespeare on stage.

Ellen Terry souvenir, Much Ado About Nothing - for blog


So it is farewell to the famous names and faces which decorate our display cases– taking their last curtain calls in our exhibition space are David Garrick, Sarah Siddons, Ellen Terry, Henry Irving, John Gielgud, Laurence Olivier, Richard Burton, Maggie Smith, Vanessa Redgrave, Judi Dench, David Tennant – and many more, not forgetting Shakespeare himself.

Next week the rare books, manuscripts, theatrical souvenirs, programmes, magazines, and biographies which make up the display will return to the shelves, but our revels are not quite ended as they are of course available to all our readers.

Fancy looking at the earliest illustrated Shakespeare from 1709? Fancy reading an early biography Sarah Siddons? What about comparing some 19th century Hamlets or leafing through 1950s theatre magazines or checking programmes from the Royal Shakespeare Company? You can do all of that in the National Library of Scotland.

Here’s a reminder of the highlights of Playing Shakespeare: 400 years of great acting