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Schama on Shakespeare

Historian and cultural critic Simon Schama came to Intelligence Squared to talk about his favourite passages of Shakespeare – the ones that have shaped him and affected him most deeply

On July 8 historian and cultural critic Simon Schama comes to Intelligence Squared to talk about his favourite passages of Shakespeare – the ones that have shaped him and affected him most deeply. He will be in conversation with the BBC broadcaster Razia Iqbal, and they will be joined by actors David Harewood, who was the first black actor to play Othello at the National Theatre, and Olivia Williams, star of films including Rushmore, The Sixth Sense and An Education.

The event is part of a new series hosted by Iqbal called Touchstones, in which creative people talk about works of literature, art, places or objects that give them solace or inspiration.

Watch the event live and have your chance to type in your question during the Q and A.



Simon Schama

Historian, author and broadcaster

University Professor of Art History and History at Columbia University and a Contributing Editor of the Financial Times. He is the author of nineteen multi-awarded books, and the writer-presenter of fifty documentaries on art, history and literature for BBC2. His most recent series was Civilizations, a BBC series on world art, which was aired in 2018. His latest book, Wordy. Sounding Off on High Art, Low Appetite and the Power of Memory, was published in May 2019.

David Harewood MBE

One of Britain’s best known actors

One of Britain’s best known actors. He appears frequently on television, and has had roles in Cold Feet, Spooks, The Night Manager and Homeland. In film, he has starred alongside Leonardo DiCaprio in the Oscar-nominated Blood Diamond and alongside Laurence Fishburne in Madiba. He was the first black actor to play the title role in Othello at the National Theatre in 1997, and he has played many of Shakespeare's lead roles on prestigious stages around the world. He has also taken part in several documentaries and talks on Shakespeare.

Olivia Williams

Actor who has appeared in British and American films and television

Actor who began her career working with the Royal Shakespeare Company in both Stratford-upon-Avon and London. She made her film debut in The Postman (1997), and went on to play the part of Rosemary Cross in Wes Anderson's Rushmore (1998), Bruce Willis's wife in M. Night Shyamalan's The Sixth Sense (1999), Madeleine in The Heart of Me (2002), for which she won the British Independent Film Award for Best Actress, the sympathetic teacher in An Education (2009), and Ruth Lang in Roman Polanski's The Ghost Writer (2010).


Speakers and actors are subject to change.


Razia Iqbal

BBC journalist and broadcaster

One of the main presenters of Newshour, the flagship international news and current affairs programme on BBC World Service radio. She also regularly presents The World Tonight on Radio 4.