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June 23 @ 3:00 pm - 4:00 pm
  • Author talk
  • FREE
  • Midsummer Madness
  • Young Essex

Much Ado About Numbers

Rob Eastaway
Elizabethan card players. Photo of Rob Eastaway and Much Ado About Numbers book cover


Cressing Temple Barns, Witham Road
Braintree, Essex CM77 8PD

Much Ado About Numbers, Rob Eastaway

What’s the connection between Shakespeare and Numbers? A lot, as it turns out! Shakespeare grew up in a time when numbers were going through a revolution. His was the first generation in England to be taught about our modern “zero” digit – and he was fascinated by it. From astronomy to probability, music to multiplication, other new mathematical ideas were taking off too – and much of this was reflected in Shakespeare’s work.

In this fun, interactive talk Rob Eastaway explores the surprising and entertaining ways that maths and numbers crop up in Shakespeare’s plays. Find out how Tudors multiplied, why Shakespeare never ended a line with the word orange, and why dice-playing was a serious hazard for the unwary. With historical asides about games, optics, astronomy, music and magic, you might never think about maths or Shakespeare the same way again.

Suitable for age 10 – adult

Sunday 23rd June, 3.00 – 4.00pm

Venue: Cressing Temple Barns, Witham Road, Braintree, Cressing, CM77 8PD

Tickets: Free, booking essential

Box Office: Ticket Tailor – buytickets.at/essexbookfestival


Much Ado About Numbers by Rob Eastaway

Rob Eastaway Much Ado About Numbers book cover

Order a copy of Much Ado About Numbers at bookshop.org

Rob is best known as the author of several bestselling popular maths books, including Why Do Buses Come in Threes? and Maths On the Back of an Envelope. He is a regular guest on the BBC Radio 4 programme More or Less, with Tim Harford.


Part of our Midsummer Madness Family Fun Day. Pack your picnic and make a beeline for what promises to be a magical day at Cressing Temple Barns. Free parking, free entry and lots of free activities. All welcome.


Essex Year of Numbers

Low numeracy skills can disadvantage people later in life and lead to problems such as debt, unemployment and even poor health. The Essex Year of Numbers is a countywide campaign that aims to inspire a love of learning, with a focus on numeracy. It is a year of exciting learning opportunities, fun events and initiatives aimed at children aged 0 to 18-years-old. The events aim to give every child’s maths skills a magic boost.

Parents can also access guidance and support through the programme to help build numbers and learning into homelife. Parents, caregivers and family members play a vital role in a child’s education. You can support children at home with homework and number-based learning.

For more information, visit www.essexyearofnumbers.co.uk.


Essex Year of Numbers



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Cressing Temple Barns




Cressing Temple Barns
Witham Road
Braintree, Essex CM77 8PD
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There are two disabled toilets on site. Level access to all areas apart from Stables, Bake House and Granary. A mobility scooter is available to loan if booked in advance.