Knitted Shakespeare Characters to go Up for Auction


The little knitted stars of the Brighton Festival 2016’s production Digging for Shakespeare are to go on sale at Big Heart Auction between the 1st and 10th of July, and will be on display at the Brighton Dome in an exhibition from the 17th until the 27th of June. The auction acts as a partnership between the Dome and Chestnut Tree House children’s hospital, with the funds being divided between the two organisations.

Knitted Hamlet in his natural habitat
Knitted Hamlet in his natural habitat – Photo: Vic Frankowski

Twelve of Shakespeare’s best love characters were immortalised by Welsh knitter Annie Hardy and went on to be the cast of Mark Rees’ acclaimed production Digging for Shakespeare, which took 19th century Brighton eccentric James Orchard Halliwell-Phillipps and his hoard of Shakespearean rarities as inspiration. The performance took place in the Roedale Allotments, not far from where Halliwell-Phillipps lived, and audience members could see the characters amongst the shrubs as well as read quotes and obtain horticultural tips.

As well as the knitted characters, graffiti artist Pure Evil will have artwork under the hammer at the same auction, while everything on sale at the Big Heart Auction will be on display at the Brighton Dome from the 1st until the 5th of July.

Othello gazes into a flower pot
Othello gazes into a flower pot – Photo: Vic Frankowski

Speaking about the auction, Rees said that “it’s fantastic that the dozen characters can be included,” given that “Annie Hardy spent between 30 and 50 hours lovingly creating each figure.”

He ended by stating how pleased he was that the figures would all be there together; “It’s great to see the figures all together as one family in the exhibition – they are very special and deserve a special home.”

For more information about the Big Heart Auction, you can visit their dedicated website.


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