James Shapiro is one of the world’s leading experts on Shakespeare. His latest book on the great Bard, 1606: The Year of Lear was listed among the best books of 2016 by The Wall Street Journal, The Times Supplement and The Guardian. He speaks with Tom Wright about 1606: the year that produced King Lear, Macbeth and Antony and Cleopatra. In James’ deft hands, quantities of research become a brisk and animated history, as he illuminates Shakespeare’s bursts of creativity against the backdrop of a ‘troubled national mood’.

James Shapiro (International)

James Shapiro is one of the world’s experts on Shakespeare. He is a professor of English and Comparative Literature at Columbia University, and has widely published on Shakespeare and Elizabethan culture, with bestselling books including 1599: A Year in the Life of William Shakespeare and Contested Will: Who Wrote Shakespeare? His latest offering, 1606: The Year of Lear, was listed among the best books of the year in various publications including The Wall Street Journal, The Times Literary Supplement, The Guardian, The Sunday Times and The New Statesman. James is a governor of the Folger Shakespeare Library, on the board of directors of the Royal Shakespeare Company, is Shakespeare Scholar in Residence at New York's Public Theater, and in 2011 was inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Tom Wright (Australian)

Tom Wright is a highly respected theatre writer, best known for his adaptions and translations. He was associate director at Sydney Theatre Company from 2007-12 and is currently an associate artist at Belvoir. His most recent work is an adaption of Picnic at Hanging Rock which premiered at the Malthouse Theatre in Melbourne and toured to the Lyceum Theatre in Edinburgh. His previous credits include Black Diggers for Sydney Festival, for which he won the NSW Premier’s Literary Award, The Histrionic for Malthouse Theatre and Sydney Theatre Company, and War of the Roses and The Lost Echo for Sydney Theatre Company, both of which won the Helpmann Award for Best Play.