On Monday 8th July 2024, former actress, bestselling author and poetry champion Allie Esiri and Regents Park Open Air Theatre presented Shakespeare for Every Day of the Year – Live!

Despite the torrential rain, a sold out audience of 1300 people braved the weather and were delighted by performances from a star-studded cast of award winning theatre and film actors including Paul Chahidi, Damian Lewis (Homeland), Toheeb Jimoh (Ted Lasso), Stephen Mangan (Green Wing), Tracy Ann Oberman, Tony Robinson (Blackadder), Danny Sapani (Killing Eve, Black Panther), Samantha Spiro (Sex Education), Luke Thompson (Bridgerton), Samuel West (Slow Horses), Olivia Williams (The Crown), and Susan Wokoma (Enola Holmes), for a hugely entertaining evening of Shakespeare based on Allie Esiri’s bestselling poetry anthology: Shakespeare for Every Day of the Year.

The night included poetry, speeches and scenes read by actors with a special connection to Shakespeare’s work and to the theatre itself. It was at Regent’s Park, for example, that homeland actor Damian Lewis spent a season playing Hamlet, that Susan Wokoma starred in the hit production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream and where Samantha Spiro performed an acclaimed Beatrice in Much Ado About Nothing and won an Olivier Award for Hello Dolly!.

One of the UK’s biggest selling poetry books, Shakespeare For Every Day of the Year by poetry champion Allie Esiri is an inspiring collection of 365 poems, speeches and scenes from across all of Shakespeare's plays, each with an illuminating introduction. Allie has published ten hugely popular poetry anthologies that account for 20% of poetry book sales in the UK and include A Poem For Every Day Of The Year and 365 Poems For Life as part of her mission to keep poetry alive and make it accessible for everyone.

Allie Esiri has said: Shakespeare for Every Day of the Year Live! was an enchanted evening that even the mad English weather couldn’t hamper. We are all so incredibly lucky that these fantastic actors came out to support my mission to help bring poetry and Shakespeare to the widest possible audience. It was an absolute joy to watch these superb actors bring poetry to life by reimagining some of Shakespeare’s best loved speeches, scenes and sonnets in their own special way, and remarkably with only a couple of hours rehearsal. We also owe a debt of gratitude to the wonderful and courageous audience who sat in the pouring rain watching the words of England’s best playwright ignited by our best actors on the wettest of stages. I’m not sure if there is more of a quintessential British evening than watching Shakespeare in the rain!