Norvic Philatelics - GB New Stamps and Special Postmarks

50th Anniversary of the Royal Shakespeare Company - 12 April 2011

To mark the 50th Anniversary of the charter* of the Royal Shakespeare Company, Royal Mail is issuing a set of 6 stamps and a miniature sheet.  Working with the Company Royal Mail selected six iconic Royal Shakespeare Company productions of Shakespeare’s plays to illustrate the issue.

* The Shakespeare Memorial Theatre Ltd was created in 1875 and the theatre opened in 1879. In 1925 the Shakespeare Memorial Theatre was granted a Royal Charter of Incorporation outlining its role and obligations. It remained the Shakespeare Memorial Theatre until 1961 with no problem, and there was no legal requirement or pressure to change the name.  The 1961 change of the name of the theatre building and organisation to Royal Shakespeare Theatre was to indicate a change in strategy and direction. It was seen as emphasizing the new forward-looking policies of the company and leaving behind the “funereal Victorian associations” of  ‘Memorial’ - it was as much a marketing move as anything else.  As soon as then name change was agreed by the Palace they had to get the name on the charter changed.

So the stamps are issued to mark the 50th anniversary of a decision to change the name of the organisation and the theatre, which coincidentally necessitated a change to the Charter.  Not much of an anniversary at all really!  

Set of 6 stamps depicting characters from Shakespeare Plays.
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Stamp designs - images show old postage rates:
1st class - Hamlet
The stamp shows former Dr Who David Tennant as Hamlet in 2008;

66p - The Tempest
Antony Sher plays Prospero in the 2009 production;

68p - Henry VI
Chuk Iwuji plays Henry VI in the 2006 production;

76p - King Lear
A classic shot of Paul Schofield as Lear from 1962;

£1.00 - A Midsummer Night’s Dream
Sara Kestelman plays the fairy queen Titania from 1970.;

£1.10 - Romeo and Juliet
Ian McKellen and Francesca Annis play the doomed lovers from 1976

Shakespeare theatres Miniature sheet of 4 British stamps.

The Miniature Sheet comprises of four stamps showing a collage of the four theatres from the Royal Shakespeare Company’s Stratford-upon-Avon campus against a background based upon the concept of the stage, with actors and theatrical scenery

1st class - Royal Shakespeare Theatre

68p - Swan Theatre

76p - The Courtyard Theatre

£1.00 - The Other Place

Technical details:

The conventionally gummed stamps are designed by Hat-trick and are printed in gravure by Walsall Security Printers. The stamp size is 35 x 35mm and perforations 14.5 x 14.5.
The miniature sheet is 115 x 89mm, with stamps 41 x 30mm, designed by Hat-trick and printed by Cartor Security Printing in lithography.

All images are Copyright Royal Mail 2011.

Products issued:
Mint set  
Mint miniature sheet 
Presentation Pack (contains set and MS) 
Set on PO FDC  
MS on PO FDC  
Set of 11 Stamp Cards 

Special Postmarks
Postmarks available for the day of issue are shown below these may not be to scale.  NOTE: These postmarks cannot be obtained after the date of issue.

Tallents House FD postmark for Shakespeare stamps. Stratford-upon-Avon FD postmark for Shakespeare stamps. Stratford-upon-Avon non-pictorial FD postmark for Shakespeare stamps. postmark showing scene from Hamlet. postmark showing Wm Shakespeare.
Ref FD1119 *
Philatelic Bureau Official Postmark
Ref FD1120 * Stratford-upon-Avon Official Postmark  Ref FD1120NP
Stratford-upon-Avon non-pictorial Postmark
Ref M12103
Hamlet Road, Birmingham
Ref M12104
Henley Street, Stratford-upon-Avon
postmark showing Shakespeare Memorial Theatre. postmark showing actor. Postmark showing a fairy. Postmark showing a rose. postmark showing legend Shakespeare Birthplace Trust.
Ref M12105
Waterside, Stratford-upon-Avon
Ref M12107
Old Town, Stratford-upon-Avon
Ref M12106 Southern Lane, Stratford-upon-Avon Ref N12109 The Royal Shakespeare Company,
Rose Lane, Liverpool
Ref L12102
Shakespeare birthplace trust, Stratford-Upon-Avon
Postmark showing heraldic rose. Postmark showing portrait of Shakespeare. Postmark. FD1119 & FD1120 are applied to Royal Mail's standing order first day covers in red ink. Postmark showing Swan Theatre Stratford-upon-Avon.
Ref L12099  The Rose Theatre, Kingston-upon-Thames Ref L12114 Shakespeare Way, Feltham, Middlesex Ref L12113
The Shakespeare, London, EC1

Ref M4678 Stratford-upon-Avon permanent postmark showing Swan Theatre, Waterside.

If you wish to be told when this page is updated, please use the ChangeDetection panel alongside the stamps at the top of the page.

This page updated 1 April 2011

2009 - 2010
 2011 issues 
Visit our online shop!
11 Classic Children's Television: Gerry Anderson
11 Thunderbirds retail booklet
24 Pictorial Faststamps 2 - Garden Birds 2
1 Classic Railway Locomotives: England
12 Indipex Stamp Exhibition Generic Smilers Sheet
West End Stage Musicals
24 British Heart Foundation Retail Booklet
8 Magical Realms
8 Low-value Machins
22 Worldwide Fund for Nature
29 Machin & Country Definitives
30 50th Ann Jaguar E-type Com.Sheet
12 The Royal Shakespeare Company
21 The Royal Wedding
5 Morris & Company
19 Pictorial Faststamps 3: Water Birds
14 Rev Wm Awdry: Thomas the Tank Engine
27 Olympics & Paralympics III
& Olympic Games retail book

28 Exhibition Generic Smilers Sheet for Phila'nippon 11, Japan
23 The Crown Jewels
9 World's First Scheduled Airmail
15 Kings & Queens: House of Hanover
16 Pictorial Faststamps 4: Sea Birds
13 A-Z of the United Kingdom (1)
8 Christmas - 400th anniversary of the King James Version of the Bible


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