Shakespeare and just war

a theatrical presentation

Shakespeare and Just War

part of the Shakespeare 400 commemorations

Dates, Venues & Tickets

Mirror of the City of Peace and Justice

Sunday 24 April 11.00 – 13.30 (Doors open 10.30)


Theater aan het Spui
Spui 187
2511 BN The Hague
How to get there….


minimum of € 7,50, more options available
If you like to support the event you can also opt for more expensive tickets. We would highly appreciate that of course. Seating is free.

At the end of the commemorations in The Hague of Shakespeare’s death 400 years ago a unique and major theatrical presentation on Shakespeare and War, will take place in the Theater aan het Spui in The Hague. This presentation has been brought together by Tom Dommisse, Shakespeare scholar and philosopher. The commemorations in The Hague are very much linked to the themes the City of Peace and Justice carries. The Hague is the second UN city and was described by former Secretary General of the United Nations Boutros Boutros-Gali as the Legal Capital of the World. Many world conflicts are brought before the courts and tribunals based in the Hague, in search of finding fair and just solutions and decisions on war crimes and actions. The Hague is the only city in which law and drama can be combined in such a way with Shakespeare as an intermediate.

This theatrical presentation is also part of the programme of the Haagse Vrijheidsweken.

Shakespeare and Just War: a presentation between law and drama
The presentation will be co-hosted and opened by the British ambassador to the Netherlands, Sir Geoffrey Adams.

Keynote speaker is Judge Theodor Meron, president of the Mechanisms of International Criminal Tribunals (MICT) in The Hague. President Meron, author of Henry’s Wars and Shakespeare’s Laws (Oxford University Press, 1993) and Bloody Constraint: War and Chivalry in Shakespeare (Oxford University Press, 1998) will speak on Shakespeare and Just War: Henry V in France. 

His speech will be illustrated with specially selected scenes from Shakespeare’s plays Henri V, VI, Richard IIand others, performed by highly acclaimed Dutch Shakespeare actors Gijs Scholten van Aschat and Pierre Bokma (with English surtitles).

musical intermezzo is planned with Sonja Agate Biscan, Croatian-Polish musician and international law student. She will bring Shakespeare in song
panel of eminent Shakespeare scholars and international lawyers will give a response to Judge Meron’s speech. We proudly announce that British director and actor Tina Packer, founder of the Massachussette (USA) based Shakespeare Company and author of Women of Will: in search of the feminine in Shakespeare, together with Dutch director Lucas de Man, who directs Macbeth by the Zuidelijk Toneel on Monday 18 April 20.30 at the Koninklijke Schouwburg, will be on the panel. We are delighted to announce the eminent legal expert on international law  Sir Christopher Greenwood, judge at the International Court of Justice representing of the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland as a panel member.  Dr Paul Franssen of the University of Utrecht, Shakespeare scholar and author of the recently published book Shakespeare Literary Lives: The Author as Character in Fiction and Film (Jan 2016) represents as one of Holland’s best known Shakespeare scholars academia on the panel

Moderator Henriette Koomans, guest lecturer on Shakespeare and Leadership at MIT Sloan (Boston Massachusettes USA) will include the audience in the discussion to follow.

Participating artists in the Shakespeare 400 programme will be present to be called upon in support of the discussion:

– Jamal Ouariachi, Dutch writer, who adapted Macbeth for the Zuidelijk Toneel
– Meher Debbich Awachri, artistic leader of the Tunisian troupe performing Hamlet
– Ninke Overbeek, Dutch playwright of the reading on Shakespeare: six men and women
– Henry Everett, artistic leader Infinite Jest , British Youth theatre company, performing Macbeth (7+)
On behalf of the British Embassy, members of the audience are invited for a drink after the event in the hall of the Theater aan het Spui to meet with the speakers and participants in an informal setting. There will be the possibility to purchase signed copies of the books published by some of the speakers and participants.
This programme is supported by the Municipality of the Hague, the Fonds voor de Podiumkunsten and the British Council, the VSBfonds and the Prins Bernhard Cultuurfonds.

We like to thank Theater aan het Spui for co-operating with STET in this presentation.