Whether ’tis Nobler in the mind to suffer the Slings and Arrows of outrageous Travel disruptions, or take Arms against a Sea of commuters.

To commemorate 400 years since the death of William Shakespeare, TfL and the Globe Theatre have produced a special edition tube map – replacing station names with famous characters, plays and modern adaptions of the Bard’s works.

Transport for London and Shakespeare’s Globe© Transport for London and Shakespeare’s Globe

Each London Underground line on the map has been given a specific subject, with station names then changed to relate to the line’s theme. There are also interesting links across the map that lovers of Shakespeare’s work may appreciate.

The Waterloo & City line is called “Patronage” with Elizabeth I and James I, the royal patrons of Shakespeare, replacing Bank and Waterloo.

The map shows three of the theatres where William Shakespeare’s plays were performed – the Globe Theatre, Blackfriars Theatre and the Curtain Theatre in Shoreditch, which was rediscovered recently.

Areas of the map have also been clustered together to focus on different themes such as the London Overground from New Cross to West Croydon, which are song titles inspired by Shakespeare.

Where possible, plays and characters have also been allocated to ‘interchange’ stations where they would naturally fit on both lines. For example, Macbeth (Embankment station) is on both the “Plays” line (Circle Line) and the “Villains and Rivals” line (Northern Line) and Lady Macbeth (Charing Cross) is both next to Macbeth and placed at the interchange of the “Heroines” (Bakerloo) and “Villains and Rivals” lines.

The cable car is called “Rosencrantz & Guildenstern” which is after the characters in Hamlet, although someone didn’t clear that properly, as some will probably see a closer association with the alienated characters in Tom Stoppard’s absurdist play, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead.

The publication of the map forms part of London’s wider celebration of the playwright’s work. As well as a range of activities at Shakespeare’s Globe, performers will be interpreting works by William Shakespeare at busking sites in Tottenham Court Road, Southwark and Shoreditch High Street stations in the lead-up to the 400th anniversary.

The map, which will be available to buy as a 24″ x 36″ maxi poster or as an art print, can be purchased from Shakespeare’s Globe and the London Transport Museum from April 18.

The poster will cost £3.99 while the art print will cost £15. A large scale map will also be installed at Bankside Pier near the Shakespeare’s Globe.


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