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The Festival of Britain in Stratford-upon-Avon

These documents are from the papers of Herbert Lewis Samuel (1870-1963), 1st Viscount Samuel, British diplomat and Liberal politician. The Shakespeare Memorial Theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon staged a cycle of Shakespeare's history plays from Richard II to Henry V for the Festival of Britain in 1951. As part of the cycle a production of Henry IV was performed at the theatre. The programme (pages 1-4) lists many notable actors who performed, including Michael Redgrave, Richard Burton, Hugh Griffiths, Peter Williams, Anthony Quayle and Jack Gwillim.

The second document (pages 5-7) is a list of attendees for the Shakespeare Luncheon Festival which was held in Stratford-upon-Avon on 23 April 1951, also as part of the Festival of Britain. 

The Festival of Britain was held throughout the United Kingdom in the summer of 1951, organised by the government to promote the contribution of UK citizens to the arts, architecture, industrial design, technology and science. Politicians, journalists, mayors, and foreign dignitaries attended the event. 


Festival of Britain 1951



Catalogue number

Parliamentary Archives, SAM/L/70