the great british shakespeare survey

The Great British Shakespeare Survey: 'More sex please - and a few zombies wouldn't go amiss'

Survey reveals that almost 90% of Brits intend to read one of the Bard’s plays ‘in the near future’ – but 26% don’t believe he wrote them all…

As part of this year’s ongoing Shakespeare 400 celebrations, leading classic book publisher Wordsworth Editions commissioned The Great British Shakespeare Survey to gauge the public’s knowledge of, and attitude to, England’s greatest playwright.

The results show that interest in the Bard is sky high and that reading at least one of his plays features on a huge percentage of people’s 'To Do' lists.

Key findings include:

•    89.1% of respondents say they plan to read a Shakespeare play ‘in the near future’
•    Hamlet (11%) is the play most likely to be read next
•    An admirable 9% of respondents say that they plan to read ‘all of them'!
•    26% do not believe Shakespeare wrote all his own plays
•    And yet 87% believe Shakespeare was the ‘greatest playwright of all time’
•    And finally, 48% of respondents think Shakespeare’s plays could have done with ‘better jokes’, 27% wanted more sex scenes and 9% thought zombies were the missing ingredient

Meanwhile, 93% of those who took part in the survey said they studied Shakespeare at school and, of those, 92% said that they had been encouraged to read more Shakespeare later in life – rather than put off.

Some 15% of the total sample, however, have read no Shakespeare at all since school, with the most common reason being that the plays are ‘too hard’.

But an impressive 43% have read two or more – and 13% have read more than 10.

“We’re delighted to discover that the Great British public confirms what we’ve known all along – that Shakespeare was the greatest playwright of all time,” said Wordsworth Editions’ Managing Director Helen Trayler. “And of course we’re also very pleased to hear that such a huge majority of the people we surveyed are planning to read one of his plays in the near future.

“As for the lack of zombies, well Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice has recently been the subject of a zombie adaptation. Maybe these survey results will lead to the movie Romeo and Juliet and Zombies…?”

Wordsworth Editions surveyed over 1,000 people online to create The Great British Shakespeare Survey.

Notes To Editors

About Wordsworth Editions
Wordsworth Editions is a successful, family-run business based in Hertfordshire. It shook up the book publishing world in the early 1990s when it launched its range of paperback Classics, priced at just £1 each. Today Wordsworth Editions remains a leader in the sector it created, expanding its portfolio to cover Children’s Classics, World Literature, Poetry and Mystery & Supernatural titles.

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