Welcome to the British Shakespeare Association

The British Shakespeare Association is a professional association of teachers, researchers, theatre practitioners, writers and enthusiasts. The BSA is a registered charity and its aims are educational – ‘to promote and foster a better understanding of Shakespeare and his work’. Read more about us »

The Honorary Fellowships scheme was set up by the Board of Trustees in 2011 to receive nominations for the prestigious title of Honorary Fellow of the British Shakespeare Association.

Each year, the Fellowships sub-committee expects to recommend annually the names of two eminent individuals who have made major contributions to one or more of the Association’s main constituencies of activities. The sub-committee, under the chairmanship of Professor John Drakakis, is responsible for selecting appropriate candidates and for recommending their names to the Board of Trustees. Fellows are honoured at special BSA events to which all members are invited.

The sub-committee is also responsible for advising the Board on its policy with regard to the principle of Fellowships and for reviewing and recommending appropriate criteria for selection. The sub-committee’s detailed deliberations are strictly confidential.

2011: Cicely Berry and John Joughin
2012: Terence Hawkes and Stanley Wells
2013: John Russell Brown and R A Foakes

Fellows

Dame Judi Dench
Patron
Dame Judi Dench, Patron

Dame Judi Dench is an Oscar award-winning film, stage and television actor. Her Shakespearean screen roles include Mistress Quickly and Hecuba in Kenneth Branagh’s Henry V and Hamlet, as well as her lauded appearance as Queen Elizabeth I in John Madden’s Shakespeare in Love (1998). She is perhaps best known to wider audiences for her appearances as ‘M’ in seven James Bond films as well as the title roles of Iris, Mrs Brown and Mrs Henderson Presents. She was a regular member of the RSC ensemble throughout the 1970s and returned in recent years as the Countess in All’s Well that Ends Well (2003) and Mistress Quickly in Merry Wives: The Musical (2006). She was awarded an OBE in 1970 and DBE in 1988.

Cicely Berry
Honorary Fellow
Cicely Berry

Cicely Berry is Director of Voice at the Royal Shakespeare Company, where, for forty-five  years, she has played a vital role in forming and developing the company’s working practices.  She has had an equally important impact on education and has also made Shakespeare’s language  available beyond the theatre through, for example, her work in prisons and with the Brazillian company Nos de Morro. She has published five books which provide detailed  accounts of her ideas, techniques and practices. Her awards include several honorary doctorates, the Sam Wanamaker Award (2000) and the Samuel H. Scripps Award (2007). In 2009, she was awarded a CBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours. She was made an Honorary Fellow in 2011 in recognition of her outstanding contribution to Shakespeare performance and education. An interview with Cicely is published in Teaching Shakespeare 1.

John Russell Brown
Honorary Fellow
John Russell Brown

Professor John Russell Brown is a distinguished academic, dramaturg and theatre director. He established one of the country’s first university Drama departments at Birmingham and later ran the scripts department at the National Theatre. He has also brought Shakespeare to the wider public as a television presenter and children’s author. He is best known for his pioneering work on Shakespeare in performance. He was made an Honorary Fellow in 2014 in recognition of his exemplary contribution to British Shakespeare.

R A Foakes
Honorary Fellow
R A Foakes

R. A. Foakes, who died in December 2013, was a critic, texual scholar, and theatre historian. His landmark edition of Henslowe’s Diary, co-edited with R. T. Rickert in 1961, was an essential work of scholarship surpassing the edition by W. W. Greg. Out of print by the turn of the century, copies fetched hundreds of pounds in the used-book market until Cambridge University Press reissued it in paperback in 2002. From his edition of Henry VIII for the Second Arden Shakespeare series in 1957 to King Lear for the Third Arden Shakespeare 40 years later, Foakes led a generation of post-war critics who combined theatrical and poetical sensibility with a forensic approach to documentary scholarship. He was awarded an Honorary Fellowship in 2013 for his outstanding contribution to British Shakespeare.

Terence Hawkes
Honorary Fellow
Terence Hawkes

Terence Hawkes, who died in January 2014, was a Shakespeare scholar of international renown. He is best known for his pioneering work in the fields of Literary Presentism (including That Shakespeherian Rag, 1986, and Shakespeare in the Present, 2002) and for his influence on Literary Theory following his seminal Structuralism and Semiotics (1977). His work on the Routledge New Accents series, the Alternative Shakespeares series, and founding of the journal Textual Practice are among his lasting contributions to English Studies. He was awarded an Honorary Fellowship in 2014 for his outstanding contribution to British Shakespeare and his instrumental role in establishing the BSA. A fuller tribute to Terence may be found here.

John J Joughin
Honorary Fellow
John Joughin

John Joughin is Vice-Chancellor of the University of East London and Professor of Shakespeare Studies. In 2002 he became the first Chair of the British Shakespeare Association and he was one of the first editors of the Routledge journal Shakespeare. He has had a distinguished career in higher education as both an academic and a senior manager. As an academic, Professor Joughin has been one of the pioneers of ‘new aestheticism’ and he has written many articles on Shakespeare and philosophy. He was made an Honorary Fellow in 2010 in recognition of his long and exemplary service to the BSA.

Stanley Wells
Honorary Fellow
Stanley Wells

Stanley Wells is Honorary President and Former Chairman of the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust.

Honorary Associates

  • Stanley Wells
  • Paul Edmondson
  • Sir Patrick Stewart
  • David Tennant
  • Michael Bogdanov
  • Sir Trevor Nunn