27th international Gdansk Shakespeare Festival

28 Jul 2023 - 05 Aug 2023
Gdańsk, Poland Gdańsk, Poland Gdańsk, Poland


“This is the excellent foppery of the world”

The motto of this year’s international Gdańsk Shakespeare Festival is a direct reference to King Lear quote:

“This is the excellent foppery of the world, that when we are sick in fortune (often the surfeits of our own behavior) we make guilty of our disasters the sun, the moon, and stars, as if we were villains on necessity; fools by heavenly compulsion; knaves, thieves, and treachers by spherical predominance; drunkards, liars, and adulterers by an enforced obedience of planetary influence; and all that we are evil in, by a divine thrusting on. An admirable evasion of whoremaster man, to lay his goatish disposition on the charge of a star! My father compounded with my mother under the Dragon's tail, and my nativity was under Ursa Major, so that it follows I am rough and lecherous. I should have been that I am, had the maidenliest star in the firmament twinkled on my bastardizing.”

― William Shakespeare, King Lear, Act 1 scene 2


The Shakespeare Festival in Gdańsk is one of the biggest and most recognisable festival in Europe dedicated to Shakespeare. The festival has taken place regularly since 1997, at the end of July and beginning of August, but its beginnings date back to 1993 and the first Gdańsk Shakespeare Days initiated by the Theatrum Gedanense Foundation. Since 2008, the festival has been organized by the Gdańsk Shakespeare Festival and the Theatrum Gedanense Foundation and has presented more than two hundred theatre groups from Poland and abroad – Great Britain, Germany, France, Italy, Russia, Iceland, Georgia, South Korea, United States, Israel, Japan, Iran and Argentina to name a few. Festival guests have included the most acknowledged interpreters of Shakespeare such as: Peter Brook, Luk Perceval, Romeo Castellucci, Elizabeth LeCompte, Lev Dodin, Oskaras Koršunovas, Robert Sturua, Silviu Purcarete, Declan Donellan and Eimuntas Nekrošius.

The event is accompanied by the prestigious national competition for the Best Shakespeare Production with the Golden Yorick as the main prize. ShakespeareOFF is a festival strand of alternative theatre and fringe presentations inspired by Shakespeare from Poland and abroad. Since 2017 it also includes a competition.

The 27th edition of the Gdańsk Shakespeare Festival is to be held on 28 July – 5 August 2023.

Our festival is a place to experience actors, animators and critics from around the globe. From 2014 the Festival has had its own main venue in the Gdańsk Shakespeare Theatre, a unique modern building giving unusual possibilities for creating theatre productions. The theatre has an opening roof which allows for performances in daylight, while an adaptable stage and auditorium means that the theatre can be configured as a traditional Italian ‘box’ stage, Elizabethan thrust stage, in the round, or even as a room with a 400 m2 of flat surface as needed. These features provide many inspirations and new opportunities for artists, directors, and designers. The festival organizers have been developing their cultural ties with organisations from around the world through the creation of international projects and co-productions. The festival also initiated the European Shakespeare Festivals Network (ESFN) which was founded in Gdańsk, and has its headquarters there. Gdańsk Shakespeare Festival is the only festival in Poland, and one of just five in Europe, to receive the prestigious EFFE Award – Europe for Festivals, Festivals for Europe – which is the European Festivals Association’s mark of recognition for Europe’s most exciting arts festivals and which is given by European Festivals Association with the support of European Commission and European Parliament.

Practical info

Pricerange per day

Under 10 euro


Fast snack , Snack bar

Main target group

12 - 16 y/o , 16 - 25 y/o , 25 - 50 y/o , Above 50 y/o

Directions & transport

Car park , Train/tram/bus , Airport (max 20km)


City center

Average attendence per day

2000 to 10.000 attendees

Art disciplines

Contemporary Dance , Heritage , Theater

Support for disabled people