Is it time to play? Games, sports, dance and leisure have changed a lot since Shakespeare’s time, although we might still recognise some of the Tudor and Stuart pastimes today. 

In celebration of Shakespeare Week please join guest curator, Marcia Williams, in exploring some of the ways to play in Tudor and Stuart times. 


A note from our Guest Curator, children’s author and illustrator, Marcia Williams


"I am so delighted to be a part of curating this lovely exhibition about play in Tudor and Stuart times. Play is such an important part of all our lives, maybe one of the most important parts. ‘Time to Play'  means taking time out from your work or school routine and can include a wide range of activities including: sports, games, dance and performance. All of which help us to explore the world, make friends and thrive both physically and emotionally.

Amazingly, Shakespeare realised that play is not just for children! You young people may think that play belongs to you, and I will admit that you are probably best at it, but as you will see from this exhibition, adults also enjoy a good game - be it with words, sports equipment or imagination.

One of the wonderful things about play is that it adapts to the environment, so although it changes with each generation, some things will always remain. As long as there is snow there will be snowballs, as long as there is a rope there will be skipping, as long as there are balls there will be ball games and as long as there are doors there will be ‘knock-and-run’.

I have loved exploring the games that Shakespeare might have played, both the ones we still play today, like ‘hoop and hide’ – which I often used to get into trouble for – and the ones that are new to me like football with no rules! I hope you enjoy the exhibition as much as I have done - I’m sure you will!"