Stanzas in Solidarity: A rare chance to hear the sensual supremacy of Shakespeare’s epic-length 1593 poem ‘Venus and Adonis’ performed by a massed ensemble of almost 200 British theatre artists.

Earlier this year, the Stanzas in Solidarity project was formed as an artistic response to the Covid-19 pandemic. Its initial offering was an online collaborative performance of Shakespeare’s ‘Venus and Adonis’. A collective endeavour by no less than 198 volunteers from the theatre world, the work is offered as a gesture of solidarity to their colleagues in the performing arts.

Originally published in 1593, ‘Venus and Adonis’ was perhaps the major source of Shakespeare’s fame in his lifetime. Today, it is less well-known than his classic plays and sonnets, so Stanzas in Solidarity provides an excellent opportunity to hear this sensual tour-de-force performed in full for over 80 scintillating minutes by a new generation of British voices.

Watch the full poem via YouTube:

After you’ve experienced the poem, check out Ben Deery’s short introduction video, which explains a little more about the project and why ‘Venus and Adonis’ seemed like such an appropriate choice.

“It’s Giving Tuesday. Please Donate to Shakespeare Magazine…”

Dear Friends, I’m no Shakespeare, so I’ll keep this brief.

It’s Giving Tuesday, so if you want to donate to a good cause, please make it Shakespeare Magazine.

Financially, it’s been another brutal year. I’m gutted that I’ve not been able to publish a new issue of the magazine.

However, I have been able to keep the website and social media platforms running. Twitter has been particularly successful. We’ve nearly at 18,000 followers, and in our most successful month alone our tweets reached a massive 1.9 million people!

Facebook has done well too. We’ve reached 11,000 followers, and had some hugely popular posts this year, sometimes reaching as many as a quarter of a million people.

I’ve also launched an Instagram account – a great fun way to celebrate Shakespeare imagery.

We’ve had some popular and controversial articles on the Shakespeare Magazine website, including ‘Shakespeare Derangement Syndrome’, ‘All Crowns are Hollow’, and my epic 2,300-word review of ‘The King’.

So here we are. I’m another year older, 25 pounds lighter, and I’ve shaved off the wispy little beard that was my constant companion in 2018.

For Shakespeare Magazine to keep going, it needs advertising revenue, donations and patronage. By modern media standards, it would take an absurdly small amount of dosh to finance 12 issues a year.

If you’re able to help, donate now! (And quick, or I’ll grow the beard back…)

All my best wishes, from the muddy banks of the River Avon,

Pat Reid – Founder and Editor

PS Adding this in a moment of madness… If I can get FIVE Shakespeare Magazine readers to donate $1,000 each, I hereby pledge to skinny-dip in the River Avon on Christmas Day!