Mathew Lyons

What Shakespeare meant to the Bloomsbury Group

In November 1935, Virginia Woolf saw a production of Romeo and Juliet. She was not overly impressed. ‘Acting it,’ she wrote, ‘they spoil the poetry.’ Harsh words, you might think, for a cast that included John Gielgud, Laurence Olivier, Peggy Ashcroft, Edith Evans and Alec Guinness. But Shakespeare on the stage was something of a