Shakespeare’s garden hosts Twelfth Night for one night

A small group of theatre lovers will be offered a unique opportunity to view one of the world’s rarest First Folios next month, before watching an outdoor performance of Twelfth Night in an historic garden next to Guildhall.

Five actors from The Three Inch Fools will perform Shakespeare’s ‘mistaken identity’ comedy in St. Mary Aldermanbury’s Garden on Thursday 1 June at 7pm, where Henry Condell and John Heminges, two of the Bard’s co-partners at the Globe Theatre, were buried. During the two-hour show, the actors will present an ‘inventive take’ on Twelfth Night, using various costumes, props, and musical instruments.

In 1623, seven years after Shakespeare’s death, Condell and Heminges produced the First Folio to bring together his complete works for the first time, essentially, saving half of all his plays from being lost forever, including Twelfth Night, Macbeth and Julius Caesar. Before the show begins, audience members will be offered a private view of the book – widely regarded as one of the most perfect copies in existence - at the nearby Guildhall Library.

Vivienne Littlechild, chair of the City of London Corporation’s Culture, Heritage and Libraries Committee, said:

“St. Mary Aldermanbury, a delightful and very popular green space next to Guildhall, will be a wonderful venue for ‘Twelfth Night’, arguably, one of Shakespeare’s best-known plays. The idea to display the City of London Corporation’s copy of the First Folio before the show is quite inspired, and I am sure that those who are lucky enough to buy tickets for the show will enjoy the chance to view the book, before heading over to the garden to take their places.”

The tickets cost £14 (standard admission), £12.50 (concessions) and £10 (under-18s) with a booking fee. They are available from by searching for ‘Shakespeare in the Garden’.

The Three Inch Fools is encouraging audience members to wear warm clothing and bring blankets to sit on. Umbrellas will not be allowed, because they risk obscuring other people’s views of the performance. If it rains, the performance will continue but in the event of stormy weather, it will be called off. If the show is cancelled, tickets will be refunded.

The City of London Corporation, which owns and manages Guildhall Library and City Gardens, invests £80m every year in heritage and cultural activities of all kinds. It is the UK’s largest funder of culture after the government, the BBC, and the Heritage Lottery Fund.


Notes for Editors:

For more information, please contact:

Andrew Buckingham, Media Officer, City of London Corporation

Tel: 020 7332 1452 / Mobile: 07795 333060 / Email


The City of London Corporation provides local government and policing services for the financial and commercial heart of Britain, the 'Square Mile'. In addition, the City Corporation has three roles:

• We support London’s communities by working in partnership with neighbouring boroughs on economic regeneration, education and skills projects. In addition, the City of London Corporation’s charity City Bridge Trust makes grants of around £20 million annually to charitable projects across London and we also support education with three independent schools, three City Academies, a primary school and the world-renowned Guildhall School of Music and Drama.

• We also help look after key London’s heritage and green spaces including Tower Bridge, Museum of London, Barbican Arts Centre, City gardens, Hampstead Heath, Epping Forest, Burnham Beeches, and important ‘commons’ in south London.

• We also support and promote the ‘City’ as a world-leading financial and business hub, with outward and inward business delegations, high-profile civic events and research-driven policies all reflecting a long-term approach.

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Guildhall Library is a public reference library which specialises in the history of London. The Library’s printed books collection comprises over 200,000 titles dating from the 15th to the 21st centuries and includes books, pamphlets, periodicals, trade directories and poll books.

Guildhall Library runs an active and engaging programme of events, ranging from afternoon talks on aspects of London History, guided walks of the Square Mile and book launches to monthly evening wine receptions with current authors. The topic for each evening event is designed to be different from the last so that a range of interests can be explored from historical fact to historical fiction, with classical and real-life stories thrown in.

You are welcome to visit Guildhall Library and no appointment or membership is necessary.


The Three Inch Fools is a five-strong troupe of actors with all manner of musical instruments, travelling with set, props, costumes and camping gear, performing a highly imaginative and vibrantly musical take on Shakespeare's plays. This summer, they will embark on a three-month journey across the UK, performing at over 60 venues, from castles, cathedrals and gardens, to churches, village greens and many more places besides. With their camping gear packed, The Fools hit the road, touring their fresh and vibrant approach to Britain's best loved playwright.

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