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RSC Artistic Director gets Hay Festival honour

Gregory Doran, the Artistic Director of the Royal Shakespeare Theatre.
Gregory Doran, the Artistic Director of the Royal Shakespeare Theatre.

THE Artistic Director of the Royal Shakespeare Company, Gregory Doran, has been awarded the Hay Festival Medal for Drama.

Gregory was presented his medal on stage by festival director, Peter, Florence on Friday - day nine of the landmark literary festival.

He was appearing to discuss Shakespeare’s legacy in this 400th anniversary year.

The ten-day Hay Festival of Literature and Arts has been held every year since 1988 in Hay-on-Wye, Powys, Wales. In 2001 Bill Clinton described it as 'The Woodstock of the mind'.

Since 2012, four people are awarded medals at the festival in recognition of their contribution to the arts.

Mr Florence said: “This 400th anniversary year allows us a moment not just to celebrate the work of Shakespeare himself, but also the individuals who have dedicated their life’s work to sharing his greatness.

"As a close partner to the RSC it has been a privilege to witness Gregory Doran’s work on stage and off in bringing Shakespeare to audiences globally and we’re thrilled to honour him at Hay.”

The sterling silver medals are struck by hand, using the traditional 'drop hammer' method, engraved with an image of Athena’s owl and the recipient’s name. All the letter engraving of winners' names and categories is done entirely by hand.

Other recipients this year were Janine di Giovanni was awarded the Hay Medal for Prose, Gillian Clarke was awarded the Hay Medal for Poetry, and Laura Marling was awarded the Hay Medal for Song.

Last year’s winners were Germaine Greer (Medal for Education), Alan Bennett (Medal for Drama), Robert MacFarlane (Medal for Prose), and Chris Riddell (Medal for Illustration).

The festival runs until tomorrow, Sunday.

Shakespeare has loomed large over it this year, with an ambitious programme of talks, workshops and projects on site.

Among them were Russell T Davies talking about his adaptation of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, with the actress who plays Titania, Maxine Peake, and the Deputy Artistic Director of the Royal Shakespeare Company, Erica Whyman, discussed her current production.

To commemorate the 400th anniversary years of both Miguel de Cervantes and William Shakespeare, the festival commissioned six English language and six Hispanic writers to create stories to celebrate both writers and to offer new and intriguing perspectives on them.

A special stream of events – Talking about Shakespeare: Lunatics, Lovers and Poets – showcased their work, including appearances by Salman Rushdie, Kamila Shamsie, Valeria Luiselli, Juan Gabriel Vásquez, Nell Leyshon, Vicente Molina Foix, Yuri Herrera, Marcos Giralt Torrente and Ben Okri.

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