York Loves Shakespeare

York Loves Shakespeare is a photographic project for people who live work or play in York, and who love Shakespeare.

We invited you to share with our audiences, your favourite Shakespeare line and what it means to you, and then we chose one line from each of the plays that were submitted.

Follow us on Instagram @yorkshakes to see all the updates, or find us on facebook as York International Shakespeare Festival. We’ll be adding new pictures throughout the Festival.

After teaching Shakespeare in the classroom , Tony Froud now enjoys exploring it on stage.

“This line promised a return when the Arts went dark during the pandemic.”

Photographed at York Theatre Royal

Victoria Delaney is an actress in stage and screen.

“The line depicts a strong female character rarely portrayed in Shakespearean time.”

Photographed at York Milennium Bridge

“Mandy Newby is an actor and supply teacher.

“I chose these lines because at seventeen I played Portia, these words stayed with me.”

Photographed at Merchant Adventurers Hall

Nick Jones is retired.

“This line pivots The Winter’s Tale from darkness to light.”

Photographed at The York Hospital

Bill Laverick is an expat geordie of York.

“I chose this line because it illustrated to me, the complex character of Richard.”

Photographed at Bootham Bar on York Walls

Lucinda Rennison is a professional translator and theatre enthusiast.

“This line underlines life’s ephemeral quality for me, keeping any problems in perspective.”

Photographed at in the Circle Garden at Homestead Park, sculpture by Ruth Moilliet.

Dr Sarah Olive is a Senior Lecturer at the University of York.

“This line is an encouragement to draw on our inner strength and resourcefulness. “

Photographed at Heslington Hall

Mark Burghagen is an actor, voice artist and Shakespeare nut.

“These lines felt comforting after my dad ended his life.”

Photographed in front of the statue of Richard II on the King’s Screen, in York Minster

David Denbigh never turns down the opportunity to see a play.

“I chose these lines because they’re so modern – feminist, rational and brave. And fun!”

Photographed at York Observatory

Katie Smith is a PhD researcher in the Education Department at the University of York.

This line works perfectly to showcase the brutalist gem that is the UoY library”

Photographed in front of the University of York Library, architect Robert Matthew

Jared More is an actor and creative associate of Riding Lights Theatre Company.

“This line’s grim self-determination can inspire change, or can crumble into futility. Sink or swim!”

Photographed in front of the statue of the Roman Emperor Constantine the Great designed by Philip Jackson commemorating his accession as Roman Emperor in AD 306 on this site.

Linda Terry is retired and lives in York.

“The lines express both irony and affection for her youth.”

Photographed in the Museum Gardens, within the ruins of St Mary’s Abbey

Sonia Di Lorenzo is a Yorkshire Italian actor of stage and screen.

“This line poignantly reflects a part of my identity that I’m proud to own.”

Photographed in front of the statue of the Roman Emperor Constantine the Great designed by Philip Jackson and situated outside York Minster

Paul Burbridge is the Artistic Director of Riding Lights Theatre Company

“This line: courageous defiance from ‘a stranger’ seeking justice in a hostile country.”

Photographed in front of York Crown Court

Samuel Valentine is a retired computer scientist.

“This line is a rare example of someone getting his priorities right.”

Photographed in St Helen’s Square, central York

Erin Burbridge, director and Creative Associate at Riding Lights Theatre Company.

“This line paints the sea as unpredictable, exciting and chaotic as it gets. I love it!”

Photographed on the Blue Bridge at the confluence of the Rivers Ouse and Foss in the centre of York

Helen Smith is a Professor of Renaissance Literature at the University of York.

“This line calls for empathy and support for the most vulnerable in any society.”

Photographed in front of the War Memorial Gates into Rowntree Park.

Rowena Hawkins is a researcher completing a doctoral thesis on Shakespeare festivals.

“This line captures Juliet’s incredible courage and the empowering quality of love”.

Photographed at the Red Tower, York.

Whitney Ivey is a software developer.

“This is the most-quoted Shakespeare line in our house- so much fun to say.”

Photographed outside the Eagle and Child pub in High Petergate

Tom Straszewski is a theatre director and PhD researcher.

“I’ve picked this as it captures the inevitable hangover from Falstaff’s (and the nation’s) humour.”

Photographed outside the Eagle and Child pub in High Petergate

F. Mary Callan is a resident of Acomb.

“I chose this line in honour of Holgate Windmill”

Photographed at Holgate Windmill

Judith Ireland loves being a member of York’s vibrant theatre community.

“This line nails the enormity of a search for the spark of connection”

Photographed at York Stadium

Emily Hansen teaches history at the University of York.

“This line sums up the simple, perfect, joy of flowers and greenery.”

Photographed in the Museum Gardens.

John Saunders is a theatregoer and photographer.

“I chose this line because some people are always right even when they are wrong….”

Photographed at York Minster

Jane Reed believes in living adventurously.

“I chose this line because it is about authenticity, honesty and genuineness; qualities that help develop empathy”

Photographed in the ruins of St Mary’s Abbey

Janice Barnesnewton: “I chose this quote because it reminded me of the first lockdown in March 2020 when York became a deserted and silent City; a disorienting and fearful experience for local people.”

Photographed at Micklegate Bar, York Walls

Matt Simpson is a tour guide and occasional actor.

“I chose this line because I got to say it in YSP’s Henry VI back in 2007.”

Photographed outside Grays Solicitors, Dunscombe Place York

Maurice Crichton acts, directs, writes and holds forth on committees.

“I love that Willibald makes room for the daft and this line is quackers.”

Photographed on the banks of the River Ouse in the centre of York

John Jowett is a textual editor, recently retired.

“I chose this line because it rejects excess, especially excess of hate, and reclaims ‘humanity.”

Photographed with the sculpture ‘Dryad’ by Austin Wright (1984) on the campus of the University of York

Dr Saffron Vickers Walkling is a Senior Lecturer at York St John University.

“I chose this line because it is about accepting forgiveness and moving on”

Photographed on the Knavesmire, by York Racecourse

“Joy Warner is a medieval history enthusiast and chose this line as she studied King John during her undergraduate history degree.”

Photographed on York Walls

Ian Giles is a York based actor and director.

“I chose this line because it’s from Shakespeare’s only wholly political play (and it’s true).”

Photographed at York Railway Station

How we made the project

From a wide sweep of people across York, using this invitation we gathered our contributors and then John Saunders took our photographs:

Here’s how you get involved. We want you to propose your favourite line from a Shakespeare Play and then we’re going to choose one line from every play (so either 37, 38 or a few more plays) If you and your line are selected, we’ll photograph you with that line at a location in York that is relevant, iconic, and perhaps personally specific. The results will be presented on Instagram and other social media during the festival and then collected to a webpage – and might perhaps go further! It’s a simple commitment and can be done legally and safely under current pandemic rules – you will need to go to your venue, but it will be just you and the photographer working together. John Saunders, who is well known around York, has agreed to take our photographs and we’re grateful to him for being a vital part of the team

So- if you want to be part of this celebration of Shakespeare and York just email Philip Parr at Parrabbola at info@yorkshakes.co.uk and propose your play and your line and maybe tell us why you’ve chosen it. And with the festival approaching  – t’were well it were done quickly! Once we’ve made our choices we’ll be back in touch to discuss the how and where and when!

We’re delighted to have a wide sweep of York friends old and new who have been part of the project, and offer our grateful thanks to John Saunders for making this possible with his wonderful photographs.