Best portable set of Shakespeare text & must-sees in the UK?

Dear Ken,

I am 49 and just now getting into Shakespeare - Two Questions 1) Can you recommend a portable set of Shakespeare text that I can travel with and easliy fit in my breifcase (one or a few plays at a time) with notes, references, etc. 2. I am taking my wife and four kids (ages 16, 13, 13, and 11) next year to England for vacation - any must sees or do on the Shakespeare front? We are staying in Avon a few days and London and Bath. And I love your book - extremly helpful and well done - thank you for your work.


Ken replies:

Dear Dan,

Thanks for your nice note.

The best edition for what you want is the Folger Library series, edited by Barbara Mowat and Paul Werstine. Each play is a small separate book, lightweight and attractive and easy to use (and inexpensive). They are the ones I use all the time. They have the notes on the facing page for each page of Shakespeare and that makes them wonderfully handy to use. And the scholarship is impeccable.

When you're in England, don't miss: in London, a trip to the New Globe Theatre on the South Bank. Take a tour with your kids and definitely go to a play there as well. It's a must-see. It will change the way you think about Shakespeare. While in Avon, go to Stratford, Shakespeare's birthplace, and see all the sites associated with Shakespeare (birthplace, his school, his church, etc.) Of course they're a bit touristy, but still worth it. And don't miss seeing a production by the Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) while you're there. They are one of the best Shakespeare companies in the world.

Thank you for taking an interest in the book. I'm thrilled that it's sparked a real interest for you and your family.

Best regards,