About the festival

What we stand for & and how we work


Much Ado About Portsmouth is a fun, creative and entrepreneurial festival marking the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare's death.

The festival will run from the 18th to the 23rd April 2016 (culminating on the day of Shakespeare's death).

Events and exhibitions include:

  • The Shakespearean Menagerie (12th March to 7th June) – A magical exhibition running across the festival period and beyond, in the Guildhall. Check out the blog here!
  • The Sonnet Oscars (19th April) – A glamorous prize-giving event for our Schools Sonnet Competition!
  • The Great Cakespeare Bake-off (20th April) – Get working on those show-stoppers and enter the competition!
  • Songs & Sonnets (20th April) – An evening of musical cabaret and sonnet performance!
  • The Ruff Fashion Show (22 April) – Featuring up-and-coming designers and hosting the prize-giving for our winning Schools Fashion Design competition.
  • And much much more!

Click here for links to all events!



Much Ado About Portsmouth is dedicated to co-ordinating Portsmouth-based festival events to mark the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare's death.

Much Ado About Portsmouth stems from a University of Portsmouth initiative. From the beginning it has been driven by the enthusiasm and enterprise of University staff and students. A key part of our mission, however, is to get the University, groups and societies, schools and colleges, and organizations and businesses working collaboratively towards producing festival materials and events. Wherever possible, we are encouraging projects that can provide a positive legacy for the Portsmouth community.

Much Ado About Portsmouth functions as an umbrella organisation, rather than as a funding body. We are open to discussing any ideas for events relating (however loosely) to Shakespeare, and are keen to facilitate events through advertising, negotiation of spaces, providing volunteer helpers (general or technical, etc.), as needed.

Much Ado About Portsmouth is, quite literally, making much ado about nothing, since part of our challenge is to create a festival without any start-up funds. With all the creative, social and physical resources of Portsmouth, however, we have made a great start on turning nothing into something, and we're beginning to build funds too! If you would like to donate to our cause, please click here.