Something for the weekend: Shakespeare, NASA and Passchendaele

A new exhibition at the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, opens today celebrating the 450th anniversary of the birth of William Shakespeare

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Shakespeare: Greatest Living Playwright will display artifacts from the last four and a half centuries exploring the endearing popularity of the works of the Bard. They come from around the world and include promotional posters, costumes, set designs and a skull used during an 1899 performance of Hamlet.

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The centrepiece of the exhibition is Shakespeare’s First Folio. Published in 1623, it is a collected edition of 36 of his plays, including the first known versions of many of them.

Shakespeare: Greatest Living Playwright will be at the V&A until 21 September.

Breese Little Gallery, London

Or if you spent your childhood wishing you were an astronaut, maybe you would prefer to see For All Mankind: Vintage NASA Photographs 1964-83 at Breese Little Galley. 

A comprehensive study of space exploration, the exhibition has over 100 vintage photographs on display, detailing the work of NASA and the Apollo missions.

The Gemini, Mars Viking and Jupiter Voyager missions also feature. The photographs give a rare glimpse into the space race, as all photos were taken by the men, women and machines who took part in these missions of discovery. A highlight of the collection is the first picture of Earth taken from around the Moon, shot by Apollo 8 in December 1968.

The exhibition runs until 22 February.

On the sofa

You may want to catch the BBC’s drama Passchendaele instead. Sergeant Michael Dunne (Paul Gross) of the Canadian ‘Fighting Tenth’ is wounded while serving in the trenches of World War I.

Although he is sent home and honourably discharged, his war is not over as he begins recruiting troops in his hometown of Calgary, Canada. Michael will be hurled back into the horror of war, however, when the brother of his beloved Sarah enlists. 

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Passchendaele will be broadcast on Saturday, 12.05am, on BBC Two.