Watch out London, we’re facing the Summer of Love all over again in 2014. A host of Britain’s top-notch acting talent will take to the Royal Festival Hall on Sunday June 1 to perform all 154 sonnets written by that enduringly amorous old soul William Shakespeare. Lines like ‘Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?’ and ‘Take all my loves, my love, yea, take them all’ will be uttered by the likes of Simon Russell Beale, Juliet Stevenson, Harriet Walter and David Harewood, who will undoubtedly make our eyes well with soft tears and our hearts melt with their dulcet tones.
The sonnets are being performed to mark the 450th birthday of our beloved Bard but also in order to ripen our romantic juices for the Southbank Centre’s Festival of Love opening June 28-Aug 31. They will be accompanied in the same weekend by two dramatised readings of Plato’s ‘Symposium’ by Adjoa Andoh, Chipo Chun, Ray Fearon, Tunji Kasim and Michael Maloney (who plays Socrates). And as well as listening to all that romance you can get the chance to stitch a sonnet onto a handkerchief or make an edible sonnet out of chocolate. Ah, if chocolate be the food of love… eat on.
Shakespeare’s Sonnets, June 1, part one: 5pm, part two: 7.30pm. Royal Festival Hall, £10-£25.
Plato’s ‘Symposium, Friday 30-Saturday 31 May, 7.30pm Queen Elizabeth Hall £15-£10.
Get tickets by calling 0844 847 9910 or at southbankcentre.co.uk/love.