Solihull Arts Complex

Festival 36

Festival 36

Celebrating Shakespeare's First Folio coming to Solihull, part of the Everything to Everybody project.

Festival 36 is a series of exciting events taking place across the Solihull Borough to celebrate the Birmingham copy of the First Folio coming to The Core Theatre on Sunday 2 July. From books to Bards, and from sonnets to screenings, you’ll find it all in Solihull this Summer!

Download the Festival 36 Programme

Festival 36 is part of the ‘Everything to Everybody’ Project, an ambitious three-­year celebration of one of the UK’s most important cultural assets: the vast Shakespeare Memorial Library housed within the Library of Birmingham. Everything to Everybody will give the city’s uniquely democratic Shakespeare heritage back to the people and is a collaboration between the University of Birmingham and Birmingham City Council, with funding also contributed by National Lottery Heritage Fund & History West Midlands.


The First Folio visits Solihull

Shakespeare's First Folio will be available to view at The Core, SOlihull on Sunday 2 July. Usually archived in the Shakespeare Memorial Library, the Folio will be touring boroughs around the City of Birmingham in celebration of its 400th anniversary.

Bookavle viewing slots are available to view Shakespeare's First Folio at The Core throughout the day on Sun 2 July, starting at 11.20am. BOOK HERE


National Theatre Live Screenings – Sunday 2 July, The Core (Theatre)

In collaboration with National Theatre Live, enjoy two Shakespearean screenings on the big screen at The Core Theatre Solihull on Sunday 2 July.

1pm – Much Ado About Nothingstarring Katherine Parkinson & John Heffernan

5pm – Othello, starring Giles Terrera and Rosy McEwean

Tickets cost £15 each (£10 students)


The Core Library

The Core Library will be open on Sunday 2 July, with a variety of Shakespearean themed activities to take part in. Bookable activities can be prebooked via


The Courtyard Gallery

To accompany the First Folio, there will be a gallery exhibition featuring digitised artefacts from the Shakespeare Memorial Library archives, including images from plays, books, playbills, director’s notebooks, and posters. This is a free unticketed exhibition, which is open during Library Hours.


The Solihull Sonnets

To celebrate the First Folio’s 400th Anniversary, a book of Solihull Sonnets is being published. 36 new sonnets about the Solihull Borough will be published in a limited-edition book and launched on Sun 2 July. There will be five poetry writing workshops, for anyone who wants to learn how to write a sonnet:

  • Mon 22 May 10am - 12noon, The Core (Byron Room)
  • Mon 22 May 2pm - 4pm, Olton Library (1st floor)
  • Wed 24 May 2pm - 4pm, Chelmsley Wood Library (Den)
  • Thu 25 May 10am - 12noon, Knowle Library (1st floor)
  • Thu 1 June 2pm - 4pm, Dickens Heath Library (1st floor)

Anyone who wants to attend a workshop will need to pre-book on the Library Spydus system ( You can submit your own sonnet for consideration by emailing a copy to before 1 June.


The Complete Works of Shakespeare (abridged!) – Sat 1 July, The Core Theatre

Enjoy all 37 of Shakespeare’s plays in 97 minutes! Join these madcap performers in tights as they weave their way through all of Shakespeare's Comedies, Histories and Tragedies in one wild ride that will leave you breathless and helpless with laughter. BOOK HERE



Bards Around Solihull – Sat 1 July & Sun 2 July

We will welcome Bards across the Solihull Borough to perform a series of short monologues from various Shakespeare plays. On Sat 1 July, catch the Bards performing at locations across the Borough including Chelmsley Wood, Knowle, Shirley and more. On Sun 2 July, they will roam Solihull town centre, entertaining passers-by all the way from John Lewis to Malvern Park. FIND OUT MORE HERE

Book Tickets

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