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The search for a Sonneteer is on at Richmond Theatre

Approved by ATG's PR & Communications Officer, David Bradbury

The Theatre on the Green launches poetry competition to celebrate the tour of Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night

'Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day? Thou art more lovely and more temperate...'

William Shakespeare is responsible for some of the most memorable lines in all of the English language through his celebrated plays and evocative verse. The question is does your own writing have the poetic power to match? Richmond Theatre is looking for poets in the local area and beyond to send in their sonnets, the poetic form most widely known through William Shakespeare’s own efforts. The competition is being held to celebrate the vibrant, rhythmic language of Twelfth Night, which tours to Richmond Theatre from Tue 18 - Sat 22 Nov.

Originating in Italy in the 13th century, the rules of a sonnet are simple. The poem cannot exceed 14 lines and each of those must be written in traditional iambic pentameter, the metrical line which best resembles the length of an average human breath. It’s a poetic form that has not only produced beautiful sonnets, but also provided the structure through which most of Shakespeare’s theatrical speech was written.  

The theme of the competition is deception and disguise, two of the key concepts that run through Twelfth Night, which you can choose to interpret in any way you wish. You can focus on Viola’s dual identities from the play’s well-known narrative or perhaps set your sonnet in modern-day Richmond. The only limit is your imagination!

The deadline is Friday 7 November at 5pm and all sonnets we receive will be judged at the theatre by a panel of esteemed literary experts and the cast from the visiting production, before a winning sonneteer is selected. They will receive a pair of tickets to see English Touring Theatre and Sheffield Theatres’ five-star version of Twelfth Night, which was described as ‘a piercing and delicately judged blend of rapture and rue... exquisite’ by The Times, as well as a copy of Shakespeare’s Complete Works, courtesy of Richmond Waterstones.

So come on, is it really that hard to write like the Bard? Richmond Theatre is waiting for your entries!

Send your sonnets via e-mail to rtmarketing@theambassadors.com or, alternatively, post a hard copy to:

Search for a Sonneteer Competition
Marketing Department
Richmond Theatre
The Green

All entries must include contact details (phone no./e-mail) to be eligible. The winners’ tickets cannot be exchanged for another date.