Shakespeare will be escorted to State Library of Queensland for a special one night only appearance on 6 June.

Australia’s only original copy of Shakespeare’s First Folio, on loan from the State Library of NSW, is considered one of the most influential books ever published in the English language.

Its South Bank showing is a coup for State Library as it is the first time the Bard’s folio has been shown in Queensland. The special event sold out within days of tickets going on sale.

“We are tremendously excited to have this literary masterpiece in Queensland,” State Librarian and CEO Vicki McDonald said.

“This event is a Cultural Precinct collaboration between State Library and QPAC for their 2017 international series presentation of The Royal Ballet.

“It highlights the value of our partnerships with national and international cultural institutions and the importance of our donors who help make these special events happen,” Ms McDonald said.

The First Folio was published in 1623, seven years after Shakespeare’s death, and features 36 of Shakespeare’s plays including The Tempest, Twelfth Night and The Winter’s Tale which might have otherwise been lost forever.

“We are delighted to offer library visitors a chance to gain special insights into this historic document with rare books expert Maggie Patton,” she said.

Ms Patton will lead a page turning discussion of the folio explaining Shakespeare’s idiosyncrasies, the development of the English language and playwriting.

“There are no manuscripts of these plays available in the Bard’s own hand so the First Folio is the closest a reader can get to the original source,” Ms Patton said.

Following Ms Patton’s presentation, the backstory of some of the State Library’s own rare and remarkable treasures will be explored in celebration of Queensland Day.

Queen Victoria’s stockings to the mesmerising John Watts necklace, an extraordinary example of 19th-century goldsmith art, are just some of the rare treasures at State Library.

Presented by State Library of Queensland with the support of Queensland Library Foundation, and in association with the 2017 QPAC International Series presentation of The Royal Ballet.

For further media information and images please contact:  Dianne McKean | 07 3842 9847 | communications@slq.qld.gov.au

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