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  • Anniversary of Shakespeare's death

Britain celebrates 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s Death

This year will mark the 400th anniversary of William Shakespeare’s death. A prolific writer and playwright, aka the Bard of Avon, wrote 37 plays and 154 sonnets in his lifetime.

Living in Stratford-upon-Avon, he wrote 26 of his best loved plays as the owner of New Place – his home which will re-open in 2016. Visitors will be able to discover William the family man, homeowner and successful entrepreneur while visiting this new landmark. Many events are taking place in Stratford-upon-Avon (two hours by train from London), where Shakespeare lived for much of his life. There are also events planned in London, Glasgow, Northern Ireland and throughout the UK.

Stratford-on-Avon 

New Place 

Visit the re-imagined home of William Shakespeare. New Place is where he lived the last 19 years of his life. Newly commissioned artworks and displays will evoke a sense of family life, homeowner and successful entrepreneur including rare and important artifacts displayed for the first time. You will also get a chance to see his mother’s (Mary Arden) farmhouse. This is where Shakespeare would have come to visit his grandparents. 

The Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) 

The Plays the Thing is an exhibition of treasures for the 100-year-old theatre company. You will find props, costumes and set designs that have never been seen before. While there, you may want to do the obvious: take in a play at the world renowned RSC. The 2016 season includes productions of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Hamlet, Cymbeline, Doctor Faustus, Don Quixote and The Alchemist. Be sure to take a look inside RSC’s store of 30,000 costumes (open to the public for the very first time). 

Shakespeare Steps

The Royal Shakespeare Company has commissioned a new self-guided tour. They invite people to follow in Shakespeare’s footsteps to eight locations alongside Stratford’s historic spine. Inspired by the Seven Ages of Man speech from As You Like It, the tour brings to life Shakespeare’s plays and the town that he lived in and includes stops at New Place, Guildhall and Holy Trinity Church ending at the RSC. 

The Sonnet Man 

On April 24th New York rapper Devon Glover – aka The Sonnet Man - will perform an incredible sonnet marathon, rapping all 154 of Shakespeare’s love poems in one go.

London 

Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre 

Originally built in 1599, the Globe Theatre was destroyed by a fire in 1613. A modern reconstruction and replica was built in 1997. The Elizabethan theatre shows plays in an open air theatre and will be showcasing the final performances of Hamlet after a two-year tour. During the April 23-24 anniversary weekend, there also will be specially created short films of each of Shakespeare’s plays that will be shown on screens along the banks of the Thames. Dubbed The Complete Walk, the project will extend from Westminster Bridge to Tower Bridge. 

Windsor 

The Savill Garden, Windsor Great Park 

One of Britain’s finest ornamental gardens will be the setting for As You Like It. All outside, you will follow the actors through woody glades, shaded lawns and colourful flora boarders. The play will end with the combining of the audience and the company for a wedding finale accompanied by fine local food and drink. No merrier time will be had! 

Glasgow, Scotland 

Bard in the Botanics

Scotland’s biggest and best love Shakespeare’s Festival Bard in the Botanics is performed in the beautiful setting of Glasgow Botanic Gardens. This season we present Love’s Labour’s Lost, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Merchant of Venice and Richard II. Take in the gardens and the masterfully acted plays. Great Britain is putting out all the stops to make 2016 a memorable year to commemorate the death of their greatest poet and playwright. Will you be going?