Popular theatre was Britain’s most spectacular contribution to the cultural movement called the Renaissance. For Shakespeare and his rival Christopher Marlowe, the culture of Italy where the Renaissance was centred was the definition of modernity. Shakepeare for instance made the name of the dangerous Renaissance thinker Machiavelli famous in Britain. This exhibition is not just for theatre fans, but for anyone interested in the birth of modern culture. • British Museum, London WC1 until 25 November
Plates are a rather convenient way to display art, somewhere between ceramic – for the most part, though metals are possible – and painting. Ceramics are in vogue anyway, and as functional objects go, plates are easy to display. In ascending order of price, here are three recent initiatives which have stepped up to the plate:
Unit London just launched Platform, an online exhibitions programme highlighting urgent socio-political issues. Participating artists create new works engaging with a political, cultural or social issue that they feel close to. In alignment with the core social principle of the programme, 10% of sales proceeds from each exhibition will benefit a charity nominated by the artist and/or curator.