Shakespeare Appreciation Group

Leader/Coordinator: Kathie Allen


Aims and Objectives of the group: From each text
• we consider the social and political context of the play
• study the eloquence and beauty of the poetic language
• consider the characters, their motivations, their values, beliefs and importance to the play
• consider themes within the play (eg mercy/revenge, love/hate, prejudices/racism, values/loyalty)
• consider the timelessness of Shakespeare and how we still empathise/care about these issues today.


Any expertise needed: An enthusiasm for Shakespeare’s work. An interest in social and political history. A willingness to analyse each text in depth over a number of meetings and contribute to group discussion.


Equipment needed (rough costs if any): Each member buys their own copy of the text.
A television and DVD/video player as we study different film productions of each play. We buy DVDs, borrow from other members or utilise the U3A Resources Centre.
We also share transport costs to various theatre productions such as Stratford, Milton Keynes, Tring; ticket prices range from £15 - £33.


Maximum number permitted in the group: 8 so that we can comfortably fit into a member’s living room and watch a DVD.


Location, day and time of meetings: Leader’s home, 3rd Tuesday of each month (unless seeing a production), Totternhoe, 10.00am – 12.00 midday.


A brief description of a typical meeting: We agree each new play by group discussion whilst ‘working’ on the current play.
A member often volunteers to make notes on the play’s historical context and/or various acts/scenes which are photocopied and distributed, then discussed prior to coffee.
After coffee we watch the play on DVD, pausing at times for further discussion, should members so wish. It is an open forum and any ideas are welcomed. We usually spend about six months watching and discussing each play.