RSC Installation Examines The First Folio From New Perspectives

Three Gold Threads is on show at the RSC in Stratford-upon-Avon until April 2024.

By: Jun. 07, 2023
RSC Installation Examines The First Folio From New Perspectives

RSC Installation Examines The First Folio From New Perspectives

400 years after Shakespeare's First Folio was published, the Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) has partnered with Arts&Heritage to examine the 1623 collection of comedies, tragedies and histories from the perspectives of refugees living in Stratford-upon-Avon today.

A newly-commissioned artwork forms part of Arts&Heritage's artist action research programme Meeting Point.

Artist, composer and performer, Liz Gre, has worked with women from Syria, Palestine, Kurdistan and Sudan to co-produce a new sound and film installation, called ثلاثة خيوط ذهبية (Three Gold Threads), which will be on show from 22 April 2023 until April 2024, in the RSC's The Play's The Thing exhibition.

Stephanie Allen, Chief Executive at Arts&Heritage, said: "This partnership is an exciting addition to our Meeting Point programme whereby artists uncover a new understanding of the past to inform the present."

Acting Artistic Director at the RSC, Erica Whyman, explained: "Three Gold Threads is part of our 2023 season which centres on the theme of power: who holds it, who should, how does it change human beings, how might power shift and what could be transformed in our world as a result?

"400 years on from when the First Folio was published, it's time we take a look at the plays within it in a new way and from new perspectives. Shakespeare himself was fascinated by how power is apportioned according to race, gender, class and birth right and I hope that this new work will help redress previous imbalances of power and democratise the stories we hold here, which belong to everybody."

Liz Gre used workshops, interviews and storytelling to help a group of nine women share stories of the dramas, histories and tragedies in their own lives. The voices and stories are woven together, resulting in a new composition inspired by the First Folio and presenting its themes from the perspectives of the women.

"I wanted to use the First Folio to highlight the stories of people living near the RSC now, from everyday occurrences through to monumental stories of making a life in a new place," said Liz Gre.

"I hope the women who have co-created this work with me feel seen and feel connected with the place they now live, and that what we've produced honours and protects their words," she added.

One of the participants commented: "I am very excited to see our work," and a community leader said: "It was a wonderful opportunity for the women and their families to be together and enjoy the hospitality and fun. These events have been so important for creating a wider sense of community and allowing the families to feel involved."

The RSC in Stratford-upon-Avon, where ثلاثة خيوط ذهبية (Three Gold Threads) will be on show, is home to an accredited museum housing one of the most significant Shakespeare and theatre collections in the world, including costume, paintings and archival materials such as photographs, posters, programmes, production records, promptbooks, music scores and rare books.

The project has been led by the new RSC Creative Placemaking and Public Programmes team. Part of their work focuses on opening up access to the collection amongst communities that, historically, have not engaged with the organisation.

Ida Ballerini Creative Placemaking and Public Programmes Curator said: "While we're an organisation with a global reach, we also have a responsibility to the communities on our doorstep and these people are at the heart of this artwork. I hope people here will see themselves and their own personal stories reflected in this work."

The project is part of the Meeting Point programme, led by contemporary arts agency, Arts&Heritage ( Four cultural organisations - the RSC, National Trust and YHA, and Museum X - a project creating Britain's first museum celebrating Black British history, art and culture - will take part in a year-long artist-led research project to explore how artists can expand our understanding of heritage.

ثلاثة خيوط ذهبية (Three Gold Threads) is on show at the RSC in Stratford-upon-Avon until April 2024. Admission is free. More details are available at


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