Cambridge Shakespeare Festival

The Cambridge Shakespeare Festival brings the worlds created by William Shakespeare to life in the stunning gardens and open spaces of the University of Cambridge. The festival runs each year during summer months. It offers festivalgoer's and theatre enthusiasts a picturesque and historic setting to enjoy Shakespeare and experience Cambridge. Past performances at the festival have included The Comedy of Errors, Antony and Cleopatra, Romeo and Juliet, Macbeth, and Much Ado About Nothing.

About the Cambridge Shakespeare Festival

The Cambridge Shakespeare Festival attracts over 25,000 visitors during eight weeks each summer. Productions are performed in full period costume and feature live Elizabethan music, remaining true to the words and time of Shakespeare. The festival also provides opportunities visitors to enjoy a picnic before taking in a play, or venture through the centre of Cambridge and spend time in one of the community's pubs and restaurants at the end of a performance. The Cambridge Shakespeare Festival is also an opportunity for visitors and theatergoers to experience multiple works by Shakespeare.

Held each year in July and August, the festival typically includes multiple performances of eight different plays by Shakespeare. In 2012, plays included Julius Caesar, The Tempest, The Merry Wives of Windsor, The Taming of the Shrew, A Midsummer Night's Dream, Twelfth Night, King Lear, and As You Like It. Each play is staged in private gardens of Cambridge University.


Founded in 1988, the Cambridge Shakespeare Festival is organised by the Festival Company. Brought to life by Artistic Director David Crilly, the theatre company was first established in Oxford. The Festival Company also organises a variety of educational events and programmes around the Cambridge Shakespeare Festival. Events include workshops with actors and directors, as well as lectures and talks held prior to and during the festival.

Venue Information

The Cambridge Shakespeare Festival is hosted in venues across the city. With the central box office located at Wheeler Street in Cambridge, most theatre venues are within a short walk from the box office and other festival locations. All venues feature on-site parking or are located close to car parks and on-street parking. Performances are staged in outdoor venues, including private gardens and an open-air amphitheatre. All venues include unassigned seating for approximately 200 spectators, as well as an adjacent picnic area for spectators to view plays from lawns.

Many of University of Cambridge's colleges play host to the Cambridge Shakespeare Festival. All performances are hosted by Cambridge's colleges, including Kings, Robinson, Trinity, Downing, Griton and St. John's. Robinson College is a short walk from the city centre and features a purpose-built amphitheatre for the festival. Festival performances are also put on in the Fellows' Garden at Trinity College, Downing College on Regent Street in the heart of Cambridge, the Scholar's Garden at St. John's College, and the Fellows' Garden at King's College. Productions are also held at the stunning Woodlands Court at Griton College, which is situated approximately one mile from the city centre and easily accessible by car, bus or taxi.

Contact Information

The Cambridge Shakespeare Festival may be reached on 07955 218824. Enquiries for further information about the festival and productions may also be directed by email to

To contact festival organisers by post, send letters to:
The Cambridge Shakespeare Festival
2 Bridewell Road
Cherry Hinton