Literary Event:Kathryn Harkup Death by Shakespeare at Richmond Old Town Hall

Literary Event, Sun 15 Nov 2020

In light of COVID-19, please make sure you check with the event organiser before travelling in case this event has been cancelled.


Richmond Literature Festival


Whittaker Ave, Richmond,


In Shakespeare’s day death was a part of everyday life. Plague, pestilence and public executions were a common occurrence, and the chances of seeing a dead body on the way home from the theatre was high. Shakespeare kept pace with new anatomical and medical theories and didn’t shy away from portraying the reality of death on stage, finding dozens of brutal, spectacular and silly ways to kill off characters– but just how realistic were these deaths?

Join chemist and author Kathryn Harkup as she turns her eye to the varied and creative methods the Bard used to kill off his characters. Was death by snakebite really as serene as Shakespeare makes out? Could lack of sleep have killed Lady Macbeth? Kathryn investigates the actual events that may have inspired Shakespeare, what the accepted scientific knowledge of the time was, and how Elizabethan audiences would have responded to these death scenes.

An afternoon of Elizabethan carnage, poison, swordplay and bloodshed – with the occasional death by bear-mauling for good measure.

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Event details

Dates Times
Sun 15 Nov 2020 15:00


£10 / £8



See location of Richmond Old Town Hall on Google mapsSee location on Google maps

Map reference: TQ 177746  Lat: 51.45884 Long: -0.30654

Tube/Rail: Richmond
Buses: 65, 33, H37, H22, R68, R70

Parking: with charge

Accessible by Public Transport: 0 miles from Richmond station


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