In a series of special open workshops set over four consecutive Sundays in London, Royal Shakespeare Company advisory director John Barton is offering up his 45-plus years’ of experience with Shakespeare to budding and amateur actors. In the next month, Barton – working with a team of RSC actors including Tamsin Greig, Joseph Mydell, Chuk Iwuji and Lex Shrapnel – will run four, three-hour open workshops over consecutive Sundays (12 November to 3 December 2006) at Leicester Square’s The Venue. The practical sessions, a continuation of the work first publicly shown in Barton’s 1984 TV series Playing Shakespeare, will focus on argument, sharing and storytelling. Barton’s belief is that, if actors embrace the textual devices in Shakespeare’s plays, they will find themselves being directed by the bard himself. Meanwhile, at the Globe, former artistic director Mark Rylance has returned to host a series of public lectures on the authorship of Shakespeare's plays and poems. The titles of the upcoming talks – including “Shakespeare's Identity Crisis” and “The Authorship Game: Playing to Win” – are certainly intriguing. Barton’s workshops are free but places must be reserved in advance (020 7845 0510). The Globe lectures cost £10 each, with discounts for multiple bookings (020 7902 5973).