What's On

(Zanzibar's Story)

(Shakespeare 400)


Reading Circle

Past Exhibitions

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Shakespeare in the 18th century:
Johnson, Garrick and friends

A special display as part of the Shakespeare 400 celebrations
Monday 4 April - Saturday 30 April

As part of this year's Shakespeare 400 celebrations, we are delighted to be showcasing some highlights from our 2015 exhibition which marked the 250th anniversary of Johnson's critical edition of Shakespeare's plays (1765).

Johnson's Shakespeare may be considered the first comprehensive edition and commentary of the Bard's plays and this exhibit will explore the treatment of Shakespeare in the 18th century on both the page and the stage.

Displayed in the very space in which Johnson began work on his Shakespeare, special gems on show will include a first-edition copy of the work, and a chest once owned by the 18th-century's most famous Shakespearean actor, David Garrick.

FREE after usual admission fee
No booking required

First-editions of Johnson's critical edition of Shakespeare's plays

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The Critic and the Bard: A Guided Walk in the City

A guided walk led by Brenda Cole, City of London Guide
Thursday 7 April, 5pm (walk begins from Dr Johnson's House at 6pm)

Enjoy an after-hours view of highlights from our popular 2015 exhibition, 'Shakespeare in the 18th-century: Johnson, Garrick and Friends,' before joining Brenda Cole, City of London Guide, for a gentle stroll around the Fleet Street, Temple and Blackfriars areas.

Back by popular demand, this walk will seek out locations associated with Johnson and Shakespeare as well as other theatrical and literary contemporaries of Johnson, including Oliver Goldsmith and Samuel Richardson. Discover the sites of some long-gone theatres and find out about the part played by Johnson's friend, David Garrick, in the development of 18th-century Shakespearean performance.

The walk lasts for approximately 90 minutes and finishes near Blackfriars station.

Tickets: £10, booking required

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The view to Temple

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Shakespeare in the 18th century:
Johnson, Garrick and friends

A talk by Celine Luppo McDaid, Donald Hyde Curator at Dr Johnson's House
Thursday 21 April, 7pm (doors open at 6.15pm)

Join our Donald Hyde Curator to explore the emergence of Bardolatry during the 18th century, both on and off the stage, and chart the relationship between Johnson and Shakespeare, two of the greatest wordsmiths in the English language.

Hear more about the great contribution to literary criticism Johnson’s made with his landmark critical edition of 1765, and discover the various contemporary interpretations of Shakespeare on stage in the hands of David Garrick and his contemporaries.

Tickets: £10 (includes a complimentary glass of wine),
booking required

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Johnson and Mrs Siddons

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Playing to the Crowd

A theatre production by Palimpsest

Sunday 17 April, performances at 3pm and 7pm
Sunday 24 April, performances at 3pm and 7pm
(doors open
30 mins before each performance for guests to explore the House)

Following the sell-out success of 'Playing to the Crowd' in 2015, multi-media theatre company Palimpsest return to Dr Johnson's House with a piece that was specially-commissioned to accompany 'Shakespeare in the 18th century: Johnson, Garrick and friends.'

Circling themes of authoriship and performance, this play explores the combustible relationship between the greatest thinker and the greatest actor in the Age of Enlightenment: Samuel Johnson and David Garrick.

'Playing to the Crowd' finds Dr Johnson in his Gough Square Withdrawing Room in 1756. Fresh from the publication of his Dictionary, he is about to embark on his next great project: a critical edition of Shakespeare's plays. But will Johnson's rigorous intellectual approach stand up to critcism from the acclaimed writer, Charlotte Lennox, and 18th-century showman, David Garrick?

Please visit Palimpsest's website to view the wealth of online material that accompanies 'Playing to the Crowd.'

Tickets: £25 (includes a drinks reception),
booking required

Time and Date

Palimpsest make extraordinary experiences for extraordinary places through the prism of web design and film, creating a layered world that can be explored online by the audience member in the days that lead up to and follow the main event.

Previous productions include the sell-out world premiere of 'The Muse' at Leighton House Museum in 2015, and 'Hedda', which completed an extensive tour of London historic houses, including Dr Johnson's House, in 2014.

Playing to the Crowd

Playing to the Crowd

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Shakespeare Family Day

A day of Shakespeare-inspired activities for all the family!
Saturday 23 April, 11am - 4pm

Join us for a day of activities exploring the rise of Bardolatry in the Age of Johnson. Plenty of word games, talks and acting opportunities to explore the legacy of Shakespeare through the ages.

Suitable for all ages.

FREE after usual admission fee
No booking required

Image of Shakespeare from Johnson's criticial edition (1765)

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Follow in Johnson's footsteps and explore the courts and alleys off Fleet Street with an experienced City Guide.

1st Wednesday of each month (except Jan.), 3pm

Next walks:

March 2, April 6, May 4

Groups may also book walks at alternative times. For any enquiries please contact us.

Dr Johnson's Fleet Street - Discover Johnson's life and work in and around Fleet Street and his acquaintances in the area.
Dr Johnson's City - Explore the Fleet Valley, Ludgate Hill and St Paul's Churchyard areas as Johnson knew them.

£5/£4 concessions. No booking required. Meet outside Dr Johnson's House.

This is a joint venture between Dr Johnson's House and the City Guides.

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Johnson and Boswell 'Walking down the High Street' by Rowlandon

Events information

Most events sell out and tickets must be bought in advance. Card payments are processed by PayPal. We regret that we are unable to take card payments over the phone.

Customers wishing to pay by cheque should send a cheque payable to 'Dr Johnson's House Trust Ltd' to Dr Johnson's House, 17 Gough Square, London, EC4A 3DE. Please include your contact details. We will let you know when your cheque arrives.

Please note the House contains unavoidable steps. For more information about access, please visit our Facilities page.

LondonShh. Small Historic Houses Link to London Shh website Accredited Museum