The lively, eclectic and much-loved Bristol Shakespeare Festival runs throughout July. Shakespeare Magazine’s Editor Pat Reid has previewed the Festival (and interviewed Festival Manager Jacqui Ham) for The Bristol Magazine

Image: The Handlebards

Pat Reid writes:
Shakespeare Magazine is based in the city of Bristol, in the South West of England. We’re 70 miles from Stratford-upon-Avon (with which we share the River Avon) and 120 miles from London. But we’re very lucky to have a Shakespeare tradition all of our own. You may have heard of the historic Bristol Old Vic Theatre, along with its prestigious Theatre School. We also have a modern Shakespeare Tradition pioneered by the Tobacco Factory Theatres. And we have no less than four pubs named after Shakespeare!

But perhaps the most exciting event of all for a Bristol-based Shakespeare fan like myself is the annual Bristol Shakespeare Festival. This year the Festival is bigger than ever, with an impressive array of touring companies and one-off events taking over the city during the whole of July. I’m delighted to have once again been asked to preview Bristol Shakespeare Festival for The Bristol Magazine. I hope that it will encourage Bristolians to come out and enjoy a Shakespeare show. And I hope that visitors from further afield will also come and experience what Bristol has to offer. I can certainly promise that it will be “gert lush”, as we say in Bristol!

Read the full article in The Bristol Magazine here.

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.