The British Council has supported these recordings as part of the Shakespeare Lives in 2016 programme celebrating the work of William Shakespeare on the 400th anniversary of his death.
“ That was her ringing. Saying we should come
At half-past twelve for coffee and sandwiches.
Then there’s to be a short symposium
With actors, directors and celebrities
It would help you to meet. And they’d be sure
To enjoy meeting you, seeing they rarely get
The chance to talk with someone from somewhere
The theatre’s so incredible…” – And yet
What I most remember is you had to have
A picture with her! She said Yes, on one condition,
–That any photograph she agreed to give
Should only ever be used with her permission.
— You observed that. It was only brought out today,
One in your last publicity display.
from On Shakespeare’s Sonnets: A Poets’ Celebration edited by Hannah Crawforth & Elizabeth Scott-Baumann (Bloomsbury, 2016), © Alan Brownjohn 2016, used by permission of the author