About Us

Shakespeare Ink is an extension of The Shakespeare Shoppe, run by Sally McLean, Creative Director of Incognita Enterprises.

All of our products are sourced from the world’s leading platform for quality custom products, Zazzle. In addition to this site, we also run various additional online stores that cover a variety of interests.

ABOUT THE DESIGNER, SALLY McLEAN

Designer and actress, Sally McLean

Designer and actress, Sally McLean

The Shakespeare Shoppe™ and Shakespeare Ink owner/designer, Sally McLean, is an actor, writer, director and producer for film, television and theatre.

Currently based in her native Australia, Sally professionally trained as an actor at The Actors’ Institute in London, during which time she was handed the thesis topic “Elizabethan Theatre”.

Not being the strongest history buff, she decided to begin her research with Shakespeare – as most would, considering he is arguably the most famous Elizabethan of them all – at least, from our modern perspective.

It wasn’t long, however, before she began to realise just how rich and fascinating Elizabethan life as a whole truly was.

This realisation was further amplified when she discovered that The Globe Theatre was being recreated on the site of The Rose Theatre at Southwark.

Sally spent many hours watching the reconstruction of The Globe, being allowed to enter the building while the final touches were being put in place. She watched with amazed interest as craftsmen and women hand turned the balcony railings, thatched the roof and installed the authentic-looking benches.

She was privileged enough to be able to meet one of the architects and learn of the debate over where the stage columns should be placed, as well as learning from an expert about the Elizabethan perceptions of the world as a whole that dictated how a theatre should be built to reflect that world perception.

Devils and bad spirits entered through the floor, angels and good sprites and entities entered from above and ordinary mortals entered from stage level. She learned about the audiences, what a typical performance would have been like and even got to hear some of the proposed Globe Theatre Company rehearse on the stage in preparation for the Globe’s Opening season.

Now armed with a better understanding of Elizabethan theatre and it’s rich vibrancy and creativity, she extended her research to other elements of Elizabethan life. She visited the Bishop’ of Winchesters private prison, The Clink – now a tourist attraction, but actually part of the original jail of the same name, built first by the Romans, then adapted over the centuries and used extensively by the Elizabethans for their criminals and poor.

When visiting The Clink and the remains of Winchester Palace, she also learned about the clergy, particularly the Bishops, and their questionable association with the red light district that was Southwark – most interestingly their ownership of several brothels!

She visited Southwark Cathedral to see Shakespeare’s memorial, went to the site of the White Hart Inn, had a pint in The George Inn (the only remaining galleried inn in London), visited the Tabard Inn and generally walked in the steps of those who had gone before. Four hundred years before.

Once the paper was completed (and the accompanying presentation), with a most satisfactory pass, Sally’s obsession (and yes, it has become an obession!) with the Elizabethan period did not wane. In fact, it became even stronger as she learned more and more about this wonderfully eccentric, colourful, always facinating period of English history.

Sally graduated drama school, worked in London for a few more years, then returned to Australia. She continues her acting career with roles in various television, stage and film productions, but also found an interest in graphic and web design … which leads us neatly to the here and now.

The Shakespeare Shoppe™ is an amalgamation of Sally’s interest in all things Elizabethan, the theatre and her new obsession – designing for gifts and apparel.

We hope you enjoy your time here. Where possible, Sally has tried to include information about each subject covered and we are adding designs constantly to the collection, so check back often!

If you would like to know more about Sally’s work as an actress and writer, visit her official website: www.sallymclean.com