Win! Our Beautiful Shakespeare Swan!

To celebrate the 450th anniversary of Shakespeare’s birth on 23 April 1564, we have commissioned this beautiful and entirely original ceramic work from artist Hannah Tribe.
Titled ‘Sweet Swan of Avon’, it will make a uniquely perfect centrepiece to the writing desk of any Shakespeare fan.
To be in with a chance of winning our lovely swan, simply send an email to with ‘Swan Comp’ in the subject line.
Don’t forget to include your name, address, postcode and contact number. We will accept entries from outside the UK, but please be sure to include full contact details.
The closing date for this competition is Monday 26 May – and may fortune favour you!

Shakespeare Magazine's unique ceramic swan.

Shakespeare Magazine’s unique ceramic swan.


Ceramic artist Hannah Tribe writes:
“Shakespeare symbolism is woven all the way through this piece, made from unglazed porcelain to produce a tactile surface which sings gently when handled. It is inscribed with the words of the poet and playwright Ben Jonson (1572-1637) who unforgettably eulogised his friend William Shakespeare as the ‘Sweet swan of Avon’.
“Shakespeare himself used the swan as an allegory for beauty in Romeo and Juliet. Benvolio persuades Romeo to forget about Rosalind with the word “I will make thee think thy swan a crow”. The graceful swan also draws parallels with Hamlet’s Ophelia, floating in the water “incapable of her own distress”. The flowers nestled within the swan’s back represent those Ophelia collects during the play – daisies for innocence and purity, pansies for unrequited love. The other flowers are intended to evoke Sir John Everett Millais’ painting of Ophelia, which was itself rich with the language of flowers.”

Ceramic artist Hannah Tribe.

Ceramic artist Hannah Tribe.


“A passion for making” is what led young Welsh artist Hannah Tribe to study Drawing and Applied Art at the University of the West of England. Here, she developed an interest in creating work using techniques associated with notions of traditional female craft. In so doing, she attempts to address the everyday conflicts between feminism and femininity. She continues to experiment with works in embroidery, floristry, cake decoration and ceramics.

Win! Tickets for Richard III in Covent Garden!

Iris Theatre returns for a sixth year of its celebrated summer season in the gardens of St Paul’s Church in London’s historic Covent Garden. This year they’re presenting a new outdoor production of Shakespeare’s Richard III which runs from 25 June until 25 July.

And excitingly, Shakespeare Magazine has FIVE pairs of tickets to give away.

Richard III ad - comp

Four winners will each get pairs of tickets for performances between Wednesday 25 June and Saturday 28 June.

And one overall winning pair will get to join Iris Theatre for press night on Monday 30 June, including interval wine and nibbles with the Iris team, and a signed programme!

To be in with a chance of winning, simply send an email to with RICHARD in the subject line.

Very best of luck!

More on Iris Theatre and Richard III here.

Vote for our Cleopatra cover star!

Cleopatra, Egypt’s famed Queen of the Nile, is quite possibly the most famous woman in history. Not even England’s greatest writer was immune from her fabled charms. Shakespeare fanned the flames of the world’s Cleo obsession with his play Antony and Cleopatra. Director Janet Suzman, who herself played the role at Stratford, describes it as “The best play for a woman ever written”.

We’re running a special feature on Cleopatra in Issue 2 of Shakespeare Magazine, and we want you to tell us your choice of Cleopatra cover star.

Choose the next Shakespeare Magazine cover star

Choose the next Shakespeare Magazine cover star

Should it be silent movie actress Theda Bara, nicknamed ‘The Vamp’, who portrayed Cleopatra on screen in 1917?

Or British film legend Vivien Leigh, star of the 1945 film Caesar & Cleopatra (by George Bernard Shaw).

Then there’s Hollywood icon Elizabeth Taylor, who headlined the notorious 1963 epic Cleopatra.

Needless to say, some tremendous stage actresses have tackled the Shakespeare role, including Helen Mirren (1965), Glenda Jackson (1978) and Judi Dench (1987). More recently, in 2012, Kim Cattrall joined their ranks:

Who is your choice for Shakespeare magazine’s Cleopatra cover star?

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