Ilmington Parish Council



The tradition of having the Mayor of Stratford-upon-Avon as President by virtue of the office was discontinued from 1941 when the Club chose to elect persons who were distinguished in the fields of drama and literature. Since the early 70s it has been the custom to select Presidents alternately from the worlds of scholarship and theatre.  

1942-43 Sir Barry Jackson, theatre director
1943-44 Robert Donat, actor
1944-45 Sir Norman Birkett, barrister, judge and politician
1945-46 Professor John Dover Wilson, academic
1946-47 Professor Allardyce Nicoll, founding Director of the Shakespeare Institute, University of Birmingham, 1951-1961
1947-48  Ivor Brown, academic
1948-49 Alan Dent, theatre critic
1949-50 Antony Quayle, actor and Director of the Shakespeare Memorial Theatre, 1949-1956
1950-51 John Gielgud, actor
1951-52 Professor C.J.  Sisson, academic, Deputy Director of the
Shakespeare Institute, University of Birmingham
1952-53 T.C. Kemp, theatre critic
1953-54 Peggy Ashcroft, actor
1954-55 H.V.D. (Hugo) Dyson, academic and Shakespearean
1955-56 Canon C.B. Mortlock, essayist
1956-57 Neville Coghill, academic
1957-58 Glen Byam Shaw, Director of the Shakespeare Memorial Theatre, 1953-9
1958-59 James Laver, author and art historian
1959-60 J.C. Trewin, theatre critic
1960-61 Sir Tyrone Guthrie, theatre director
1961-62  W.A. Darlington, theatre critic
1962-63 Ernest Burbridge, formerly British Council representative in Stratford  
1963-64 Dr Levi Fox, Director of the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust 1945-1989
1964-65 Dr Levi Fox
1965-66 Michel St. Denis, theatre director
1966-67 Gareth Lloyd Evans, academic and Shakespearean
1967-68 J.B. Butterworth, Vice Chancellor of the University of Warwick, 1964-1985
1968-69 Professor T.J.B. Spencer, Professor of English and Director of the Shakespeare Institute, University of Birmingham, 1961-1979
1969-70 Dame Veronica Wedgewood, historian
1970-71 Dr A.L. Rowse, academic
1971-72 Professor Stanley Wells, Director of the Shakespeare Institute 1988-97, Chairman of the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust 1991-2011.
1972-73 Professor Arthur C. Sprague, American academic and stage historian
1973-74 Lord David Cecil, biographer, historian and academic.
1974-75 Robert Speaight, theatre critic and historian
1975-76 The Rev. Professor  Moelwyn Merchant, academic and
1976-77 Sir Donald Sinden, actor
1977-78 Professor Kenneth Muir, academic and Shakespearean
1978-79 George Rylands, academic and theatre director
1979-80  Richard Pasco & Barbara Leigh-Hunt, actors
1980-81 Professor Muriel Bradbrook, academic and Shakespearean
1981-82 Professor Glynne Wickham, academic and theatre historian
1982-83 Miss Fabia Drake, actor
1983-84 Professor Philip Brockbank, Director of the Shakespeare
1984-85 Judi Dench & Michael Williams, actors
1985-86 Professor Inga-Stina Ewbank, academic
1986-87 Dr  Jonathan Miller, theatre director
1987-88 Professor Philip Edwards, academic
1988-89 Tony Church, actor
1989-90 Professor Harold Jenkins, academic
1990-91 Adrian Noble, Artistic Director of the Royal Shakespeare Company, 1990-2003
1991-92 Professor Andrew Gurr, academic and theatre historian
1992-93 Barbara Jefford, actor
1993-94 Roger Pringle, Director of the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust,
1994-95 David Brierley CBE, Manager of the Royal Shakespeare Company   
1995-96 Dr  Rex Gibson, academic and Shakespearean
1996-97 Jane Lapotaire, actor
1997-98 Professor Jonathan Bate, academic and Shakespearean
1998-99 Guy Woolfenden, composer
1999-00 Professor R.A. Foakes, academic and Shakespearean
2000-01 Sir Nigel Hawthorne, actor
2001-02 Professor David Daniell, academic and Shakespearean
2002-03 Fiona Shaw, actor
2003-04 Dr T.P. Matheson, Fellow (1963-1993),
Acting Director(1978, 1987-8) and Deputy Director of the
Shakespeare Institute 1980-1993.
2004-05 Gregory Doran, Artistic Director of the Royal ShakespeareCompany 2012-
2005-06 Professor Russell Jackson, Director of the Shakespeare
Institute, 2002-4.
2006-07 Desmond Barrit, actor
2007-08 Professor Carol Chillington Rutter, academic and Shakespearean
2008-09 Alex Jennings, actor
2009-10 Patrick Spottiswoode, Director of Education, Shakespeare’s GlobeTheatre
2010-11 David Bradley, actor
2011-12 Professor Stanley Wells, CBE (see 1971-2 above)
2012-13 Michael Attenborough, theatre director
2013-14 Michael Dobson, Director of the Shakespeare Institute, 2011-.
2014-5 Jeremy Irons, actor
2015-6 Peter Kyle, OBE, Chairman of the Shakespeare Birthplace
Trust, 2011- ; formerly Chief Executive of Shakespeare’s Globe, 1999-2011.
2016-7 Sir Richard Eyre,  CH, CBE, theatre, opera, television and film director, formerly Director of the National Theatre 1988-97.
2017-8 Michael Wood, Historian and documentary-maker
2018-9 Emma Rice, Theatre director and actor
2019-20 Sir Nicholas Hytner, Former Artistic Director of the National Theatre, Co-founder of The Bridge Theatre
2020-21 Sir Stanley Wells (see 2011-12 and 1971-2)


Quick Links

The Story of the Shakespeare Club of Stratford-upon-Avon
'Long life to the Club call'd Shakspearean'

By Susan Brock and Sylvia Morris
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