During the 2020 Coronavirus pandemic,
actor David Horovitch began committing all 154
of Shakespeare’s sonnets to memory.
More sonnets will be uploaded to his website every week
About a week into lockdown, I memorised the first of Shakespeare's sonnets. I live on my own and, after a week without a face-to-face conversation and, finding my own company intolerable, I was. beginning to realise that I needed a major distraction. A couple of weeks and ten sonnets later, I started to film them on my mobile so that I would have a record of them. It never occurred to me at this stage that I would want anyone to look at them but, being a performer, the temptation to show them to a few friends soon become irresistible. Their response was encouraging and several of them suggested that I post them on YouTube. It was then that I thought that I would like to raise some money for Amnesty, a charity whose work I much admire. I have now memorised 50 of them and it's my aim, though I'm by no means certain to achieve it, to learn all 154. I started at the first one and aim to finish at the last. They have been a revelation to me : in my ignorance, I didn't even know that the first 126 are addressed to a young man, the mysterious MR W. H. They explore the darkest and the lightest aspects of love and many of them, within their fourteen lines contain dramatic mood changes. They are tiny conversation pieces, Talking Heads type monologues in strict and beautiful verse. I hope I manage to communicate to you something of their extraordinary quality and that you will be inspired to donate to this important charity.
Amnesty International is a movement of ordinary people from across the world standing up for humanity and human rights. When injustice happens to one person, it happens to us all. Recent campaigns include refugee and migrant rights, climate change, children's rights, women's rights, Syrian conflict and LGBTI rights. Amnesty's biggest achievements include outlawing torture, holding war criminals to account and controlling the arms trade. Your support is of significant value - only together can we continue to make a difference.