Discover the poetry of Shakespeare

Ver Poets Shakespeare images

Ver Poets Shakespeare images - Credit: Archant

Best-selling poems were how Shakespeare found fame in his own time and a selection can be heard in St Albans tomorrow night. (15)

A joint production by Ver Poets and the Company of Ten at the Maltings Arts Theatre, the evening will include selections from the sonnets, Venus and Adonis and the Rape of Lucrece performed by local actors.

The poems offer an insight into Shakespeare’s character and the possible source of his inspiration. In 1592 the theatres in London were closed because of the plague - a potentially devastating blow to the actor and budding playwright.

Shakespeare appealed to the young aristocrat and dandy Henry Wriothesley for patronage and dedicated two long poems to him. The performance, which starts at 8pm, will examine this key relationship and how it may be reflected in the poetry.

There will also be a commentary on the significance of the poems and where they fit in the dramatist’s career.

Ver Poets chairman Terry Jones said: “Imagine if Shakespeare’s plays had never been printed – as almost happened! He would still be known as one of the best-selling poets of his era.

“The poems cover the whole gamut – raunchy, mystical, cynical, lyrical. They contain mysteries that 400 years of scholarship have failed to crack.”

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Tickets are £8 on the door or £7 by advance booking on the Maltings Theatre website.