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Paul Kelly to headline Library’s Shakespeare-aganza

He was not of an age, but for all time! - Ben Jonson

Wednesday, 23 March 2016

To commemorate the 400th anniversary of William Shakespeare’s death on 23 April 2016, the State Library of NSW is staging a major Shakespeare 400 celebration to be headlined by acclaimed Australian singer/storyteller Paul Kelly.

'As the home of Shakespeare in Australia, the State Library is thrilled to be joining the international celebrations to recognise the life and work of the renowned poet and playwright,' says NSW State Librarian & Chief Executive Alex Byrne.

'The anniversary offers a unique opportunity for us to highlight the Bard’s ongoing literary and cultural significance, and how his work continues to influence us today,' says Dr Byrne.

'We’re delighted Paul Kelly will be sharing his contemporary response to Shakespeare’s genius for the first time at the Library on 23 April.'

Paul Kelly will launch his new Shakespeare inspired album Seven Sonnets & A Song in the atmospheric Mitchell Reading Room on Saturday evening 23 April.

Complementing this landmark launch, the Library will present a dynamic series of events for all ages, including: a silent film festival, Shakespeare trivia night (21 April), a sonnet slam and a free Shakespeare 400 Fan Day (23 April) featuring roving performers from Bell Shakespeare, a fairy grotto and drawing workshops with award-winning children’s author Leigh Hobbs!

In addition, Australia’s only copy of Shakespeare’s first collection of works (published posthumously in 1623) known as the First Folio, will go on display in the State Library’s Amaze Gallery from 1 April, along with other extraordinary Shakespeariana from the Library’s rich collections. 

For more information go to or follow #shakespeare400.

Tickets to the Paul Kelly album launch on sale in April.

Dr Alex Byrne and Maggie Patton are available for interviews.

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