25 May: Shakespeare Unbanned

Chinese citizens were once again able to read and perform the works of William Shakespeare on 25th May, 1977. 

Chiang Ching, Chairman Mao’s wife, had instituted the ban eleven years earlier – amidst concerns that the Bard’s works could be reinterpreted to undermine the Party’s rule and ideology.

In this episode, Rebecca, Olly and Arion ask why British Literature has enjoyed a reversal of fortune under President Xi; reveal how Shakespeare’s childhood home is connected to The Venetian, Las Vegas; and recall a surprising fact about One True Voice’s forgotten hit, ‘If I Had Shakespeare’s Way With Words’… 

Further Reading:

• An article on the ban from History: https://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/chinese-government-removes-ban-on-shakespeare

• The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust report on the Chinese building project:


• One True Voice. You have been warned: