For informed comment and interviews about all things Shakespeare, talk to us.
If you are looking for authoritative comment on any aspect of Shakespeare's works, life and times, you have come to the right place. We are also pleased to contribute regularly to coverage and discussion of issues affecting the cultural, heritage, tourism, education and museums sectors.
Some of our key spokespeople are listed below. To arrange an interview with anyone working with the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, please contact the Press Office.
Professor Stanley Wells CBE, Honorary President
One of the world's foremost Shakespearians, Stanley Wells is a Life Trustee and Former Chairman of The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust (1991-2011), Emeritus Professor of Shakespeare Studies of the University of Birmingham, and Honorary Emeritus Governor of the Royal Shakespeare Theatre, of which he was for many years Vice-Chairman. He holds a Ph. D. of the University of Birmingham and honorary doctorates from Furman University, South Carolina, and from the Universities of Munich, Hull, Durham and Warwick.
His books include Literature and Drama; Royal Shakespeare: Studies of Four Major Productions at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre; Modernizing Shakespeare’s spelling; Re-editing Shakespeare for the Modern Reader; and Shakespeare: the Poet and his Plays. He edited A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Richard II, and The Comedy of Errors for the New Penguin Shakespeare and King Lear for the Oxford Shakespeare. He was for nearly twenty years the editor of the annual Shakespeare Survey, and writes for the New York Review of Books and many other publications. He has edited The New Cambridge Companion to Shakespeare Studies and is General Editor (with Gary Taylor) of The Complete Oxford Shakespeare and co-author of William Shakespeare: A Textual Companion. His most recent books are Shakespeare in the Theatre: An Anthology of Criticism; The Oxford Dictionary of Shakespeare; The Oxford Companion to Shakespeare (edited with Michael Dobson); Shakespeare For All Time; Looking for Sex in Shakespeare; Shakespeare’s Sonnets and Coffee with Shakespeare, both co-authored with Paul Edmondson, Shakespeare & Co., and Is It True What they Say About Shakespeare? His Shakespeare, Sex, and Love appeared from O U P in 2010. He is married to the writer Susan Hill and has two daughters.
Stanley Wells was elected The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust's first Honorary President in June 2011.
For more detailed information about Stanley, please click here.
Peter Kyle’s distinguished international career in the arts and cultural sector spans dance, arts management and education roles. Peter is Director-General of The English Speaking Union. Prior to this, for 12 years, he led the development of Shakespeare’s Globe as Chief Executive . Best known for its theatre, the Shakespeare Globe Centre also provides extensive educational programmes and houses the world’s largest exhibition devoted to Shakespeare. Peter also served on the boards of the Shakespeare Globe Centres in America, Canada, New Zealand, Australia, Germany and Japan. He received the OBE for services to drama in the 2011 New Year’s Honours.
He is currently Deputy Chairman of the University of Westminster and an Honorary Fellow of South Bank University, Honorary President of Tavaziva Dance Company, and a Trustee of the Noel Coward Foundation. He is a Companion of the Chartered Management Institute.
Following his early career as a soloist dancer, teacher and choreographer, including roles with the Northern Ballet Theatre and the Royal New Zealand Ballet, Peter went on to found the National Festival of Youth Dance and the National Youth Dance Company. He was part of the team that founded the National Festival of Youth Theatre. In Scotland he was Chief Executive of The Scottish Ballet, and later Chairman of the Centre for Contemporary Arts. He has served the Arts Council in numerous roles. In 1997 he became Dean of the Arts Educational Schools, London.
Peter Kyle was elected Chairman of The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust in June 2011.
Richard Hyde is currently Chief Executive of Brian Hyde Ltd, an award winning sales, distribution and marketing business supplying hand tools to the retail construction and DIY industry. Richard is also a Non-Executive Director of Centro, the West Midlands Passenger Transport Authority handling a million passengers a day and the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA). The HCA is the national housing and regeneration agency for England, with a capital investment budget of nearly £7bn.
Richard was formerly Deputy Chairman of Advantage West Midlands, a Non-Executive Director of the Government Office for the West Midlands, and Chairman of the West Midlands Regional Observatory. Richard has been a Trustee of the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust since 2001, Deputy Chairman since 2007 and lives in Stratford-upon-Avon.
Dr Diana Owen, Director
Diana Owen has led the financial and strategic transformation of the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust since she joined as Director in November 2007, developing the organisation as an outward-facing, participative charity which works to lead the world’s enjoyment and understanding of Shakespeare’s works, life and times.
Diana is an Honorary Governor of the RSC, a member of the English Speaking Union's Cultural Affairs Committee, a member of the National Trust's Midlands Regional Advisory Board and Vice-President of the Stratford-upon-Avon & District National Trust Association. In 2011 she was presented with the Yamani Medal in recognition of the Trust's partnership work with the Iqbal Academy and in February 2012 was awarded the Pride of Stratford award for her outstanding contribution to life in Stratford-upon-Avon.
Born and brought up in India, Diana was educated in Winchester and at Leeds University, culminating in a PhD on British propaganda in the Second World War, Diana worked in publishing before joining the National Trust in 1988. She managed Petworth in West Sussex, then became Area Manager for the National Trust’s properties firstly in Hampshire, London and the Isle of Wight, then in West Sussex and South Surrey, with responsibility for major infrastructure projects and public enquiries.
Rev. Dr Paul Edmondson, Head of Knowledge and Research
Paul is Director of the Stratford-upon-Avon Poetry Festival for The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust. He is a trustee of The Rose Theatre Trust, co-series editor for Palgrave Macmillan's Shakespeare Handbooks, and co-supervisory editor of the Penguin Shakespeare (for which he has contributed to several introductions). He is also Chair of The Hosking Houses Trust. His publications include: Twelfth Night: A Guide to the Text and Its Theatrical Life, and (co-authored with Stanley Wells) Shakespeare's Sonnets and Coffee with Shakespeare. He has published on Shakespeare's influence on the Brontës (Brontë Studies and Shakespeare Survey). He contributed an essay on the poetry of Marlowe and Shakespeare for The Cambridge History of English Poetry (May, 2010), and has just completed an essay on Harriet Walter for Actors’ Shakespeare (Routledge, 2011). He wrote the script for The Shakespeare Centre's 'Life, Love, and Legacy' exhibition and co-curated 'Shakespeare Found: A Life Portrait'. He was ordained a priest in The Church of England in 2011.