Speeches That Stir The Spirit

Join a two-day event exploring speeches that change opinions and stir up the spirit of the times. Meet at Highbury Mansion to dive and delve over the course of 2 days into the language and ideas in stirring speeches from Shakespeare, Chamberlain and George Dawson – as well as exploring the power of speeches in today’s world, such as Greta Thunberg on the future of the planet and Malala Yousafzai on girls’ education.

George Dawson, founder of Birmingham’s Shakespeare Memorial Library, was a persuasive preacher who inspired Joseph Chamberlain ‘s political ideas and renowned skills as an orator. These workshops will be practical and involve performing, drama, text analysis and creating visual arts. Chiefly focusing on speeches made to crowds and that caused a stir! No previous knowledge or experience necessary, just a willingness to get join in and try out the power of your own voice. The workshops will lead to a community performance at Highbury on the day that Shakespeare’s First Folio visits us in September 2022.

Chamberlain Highbury Trust is part of the ‘Everything to Everybody’ Project – a three-year celebration of one of the UK’s most important cultural assets: the vast Shakespeare Memorial Library housed within the Library of Birmingham. ‘Everything to Everybody’ will give the city ’s Shakespeare heritage back to the people and explore its modern relevance.

A collaboration between the University of Birmingham and Birmingham City Council with contributions from our Chamberlain Highbury Trust tea, National Lottery Heritage Fund and History West Midlands.

Booking Opens July 1st – limited spaces available


‘A library may be regarded as the solemn chamber in which a man may take counsel with all who have been wise, and great, and good, and glorious among the men that have gone before him.’ George Dawson