Choose how you are going to celebrate Britain’s most famous playwright as the world marks 400 years since Shakespeare’s death.
Shakespeare was born and died on the same day – April 23, so look out for events on and around this date, although there will be activities and events running throughout the year.
As you might expect, his birthplace Stratford upon Avon has a good deal planned for this important year. Visit the town for the annual Shakespeare Birthday Celebrations on April 23-24 for a weekend of pageantry and performance. Crowds will line the streets as actors, foreign diplomats, civic dignitaries and local children join a 1,000-strong procession through the streets on the Saturday.
The Royal Shakespeare Company’s 2016 season includes productions of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Hamlet, Cymbeline, Doctor Faustus, Don Quixote and The Alchemist. A major new exhibition, The Play’s The Thing, will open in June in The Swan Theatre front of house areas. Bookings will be taken for the latter from January.
The Other Place will reopen in April with a new discovery tour to take visitors on a journey from Page to Stage, from the first day of rehearsals to the first performance, with an opportunity to look inside the RSC’s store of 30,000 costumes for the first time. Bookings are being taken now.
King Edward VI School will open Shakespeare’s Schoolroom & Guildhall as a visitor attraction in 2016. Visitors will be able to learn of the extraordinary history of the building and the civic history of the town.
For more information see https://shakespeares-england.co.uk/shakespeare-2016
Films in London
Specially created short films of each of Shakespeare’s plays will be shown on screens along the banks of the Thames from Westminster Bridge to Tower Bridge in London over the weekend of April 23-24. The films will be free and accessible for all, with each of the 37 screens showing one film on a loop for the duration of the weekend.
For more information about stage performances and film screenings of Shakespeare’s works in London see the website www.shakespeare400.org
Animated assassinations and hip-hop Shakespeare in night clubs are just some of the intriguing ingredients in next year’s celebrations in Oxford. There will be exhibitions, drama, poetry, film showings, art, music and dance. Conferences, talks and schools projects are also planned. For more information see the website www.shakespeareoxford2016.co.uk
Ideal for a group visit, The King’s Man: Shakespeare and the Royal Court’ exhibition is part of the programme events at Windsor Castle. A talk by a member of the Royal Collection Trust Staff is followed by an opportunity to see the exhibition Shakespeare and the Royal Library.
The latter includes accounts of performances at Windsor Castle and art by members of the royal family inspired by Shakespeare plays. Call 0303 123 7321 or email firstname.lastname@example.org www.royalcollection.org.uk
Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre on London’s South Bank is a faithful reconstruction of the open-air playhouse first built in 1599 where Shakespeare worked and for which he wrote many of his greatest plays.
Exhibition and tour tickets include a 30 to 40 minute guided tour of the theatre and all day access to the Exhibition. Visits for groups of 15 people or more must be pre-booked and can be tailor-made to include refreshments. Seat prices range from £17 to £43 – with one free seated ticket for every ten purchased. www.shakespearesglobe.com