An eight-day festival to celebrate 400 years of Shakespeare's First Folio will take place in Malvern next month.

The Malvern Shakespeare Folio 400 Festival will run from Sunday November 5 to Sunday November 12 at the Coach House Theatre.

The festival is the brainchild of Chris Bassett, company manager of the Malvern Theatre Players (MTP), who wanted to mark the first complete works of Shakespeare's plays.

Amelia Marriette, who is the Coach House Theatre's adviser on all things Shakespearean and the MTP's playwright on attachment, has been working with the MTP since 2005.

Amelia grew up in Malvern but now lives in Austria, but she will be flying over to offer her expertise and appear in a cameo role in her own play Nay, Remember Me!

The play was first performed at the Other Place Theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon as part of the Royal Shakespeare Company's Fringe Festival.

There will be six performances of Nay, Remember Me! from November 7 to 11.

Amelia will also lead some workshops for schools and present two of her Shakespeare lectures as part of the Malvern Shakespeare Folio 400 Festival. Amelia said: "I an thrilled to be involved with the festival because the 400th anniversary of the publishing of the First Folio is a world event – from Australia to Zambia - celebrations have been taking place all year.

"However, Malvern is one of the few places where you can come and enjoy the events around the exact time – November – that the Folio was published in 1623."

In addition to the other exciting events, Melting Pot Theatre will also give some performances some extracts from Hamlet and Macbeth, and there will be two Shakespeare on Film Sundays on the November 5 and 12.

On November 5, Leena Batchelor of the newly opened Script Haven bookshop and cafe in Worcester will be having a book sale; a chance to buy books handpicked to coincide with the festival.

On November 8 and 11, the Malvern Book Cooperative will also be selling books.

Plus, Professor Judith Buchanan, Master of St Peter's College, Oxford, will be presenting her fascinating talk [S]carce a blot in his papers: Celebrating 400 years of the 1623 Shakespeare Folio" on November 8 - the actual day of the 400th anniversary.

A free exhibition in the Jackson Gallery will also feature works on paper relating to the First Folio of Shakespeare's Plays.

It will be a big event with something for everyone - and the Malvern Shakespeare Folio 400 Festival is proud to be part of the world celebrations for this most important anniversary of the publishing of Shakespeare's First Folio.

Councillor Beverley Nielsen, economic development and tourism portfolio holder for Malvern Hills District Council, is thrilled to support the festival.

She said: "I'm looking forward to the comedy-drama Nay, Remember Me!, illustrating the real-life stories behind the making of the First Folio, written by former Malvern resident Amelia Marriette.

"Her studies at the University of Birmingham's Shakespeare Institute and work as a curator at the Royal Shakespeare Company have fuelled her passion as a playwright.

"I am also looking forward to the very special talk on November 8 at 3pm by one of the world's leading authorities on the First Folio, Professor Judith Buchanan, who will provide a compelling narrative of the losses, thefts, recoveries and sales of individual copies of the 1623 Folio in recounting their passage down the centuries.

"We hope the public will join us as we pay homage and celebrate the most important secular work ever published.

"The Malvern Shakespeare Folio 400 Festival is full of insight, inspiration, awe and sufficient drama to make even the Bard himself proud."

Booking is now open and the full programme of events is now on the website on the Malvern Theatres website or by calling 01684 892277.

Booking for the workshops for schools is also open. To find out more, please contact Chris Bassett on 01684 569011 or email

The Foley Arms Hotel in Malvern has also agreed to offer all those who have booked to see any event or performance a 15 per cent discount on any room.

Amelia Marriette is also the author of Walking into Alchemy: The Transformative Power of Nature – You can buy full-colour copies of her book from The Malvern Book Cooperative in St Ann's Road.