Stephen Fry and Mark Rylance, (C) Simon Annand.jpg
Stephen Fry (l) and Mark Rylance in Twelfth Night at Shakespeare’s Globe. Fry opens the next edition of Firsts: London’s Rare Book Fair (June 7-9), and Shakespeare’s Globe joins as charity partner. © Simon Annan

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The event runs from June 7-9 hosting more than 150 exhibitors from 15 countries around the world.

Fry is also a collector of rare books and announced his involvement over Twitter saying: “Delighted to open @FirstsLondon rare book fair on the 7th day of June at noon @batterseaevolution. Joyous revelling in books of all sorts & @The_Globe exhibition of Shakespeare folios. Help me to a candle and pen, ink & paper.”

His involvement is part of a lager theatrical theme for this staging of the fair, led by a new partnership with Shakespeare’s Globe.

John Wolfson, the Globe’s honorary curator of rare books, is curating an exhibition of 16 rare Shakespeare-related books from his collection and will give a talk accompanied by actors during the event. Among the books being featured are a first edition of Rima et prosa (1539) by Luigi da Porto, which includes the source for Romeo and Juliet, as well as a first edition of The Two Noble Kinsmen, which was not included in the First Folio of 1623.

Also featured at the fair this year are an LGBTQ+ tour, a talk by photographer Adriaan van Heerden and a Discovery Day, where visitors can have items appraised.