Shakespeare 400 events to celebrate the Bard

This Saturday, 23 April 2016, the UK celebrates the 400th anniversary of the death of William Shakespeare.

Led by Shakespeare400, a "consortium of leading cultural, creative and educational organisations, coordinated by King’s College London" – including The Culture Diary members Shakespeare's Globe, Barbican, London Philharmonic Orchestra, Royal Opera House, BFI, FILM London, National Theatre, and more – nationwide events will take place this weekend to mark the occasion.

There is plenty more going on. Both the British Council and Shakespeare400 have good resources for this weekend and the rest of the year.

We've gone ahead and chosen some of the many highlights for this Saturday:

The Complete Walk – Shakespeare's Globe

Follow the river, from Westminister to Tower Bridge and The Two Gentlemen of Verona to The Tempest, and watch ten-minute films on 37 of the Bard of Avon's plays and their settings. More on this here.

Hamlet: World Tour comes home – Shakespeare's Globe

The ambitious project to send Hamlet around the entire world over the past two years sees the cast and crew return home for some final London performances at the Globe. See this unique, well-travelled verion of one Shakespeare's most respected and loved plays. The BBC will also broadcast from the famed playhouse. Details here.

Shakespeare Live! – RSC

This live variety show, which will also be broadcast on BBC Two, via BBC Worldwide, and to selected Picturehouse Cinemas, features David Tennant and Catherine Tate, with some of the most dramatic scenes in history being performed by some of our greatest actors. Expect music, comedy, dance and more. Details here.

There's far more for the whole weekend from Royal Shakespeare Company, and you can see the full schedule here.

Ballet, Opera and the Bard / The Winter's Tale – Royal Opera House

As well as a scheduled performance of the Royal Opera House's acclaimed three-act ballet adaptation (tickets available here) in the evening, the BBC will broadcast a rehearsal with Lauren Cuthbertson and Edward Watson live from Covent Garden, alongside a few other bonus Bardarian treats. BBC schedule here.

Pop-up Shakespeare at Tate Britain – Tate

Four scenes from four of Shakespere's plays will be performed in front of paintings inspired by those works – including Titania and Bottom and Lady Macbeth Seizing the Daggers by Henry Fuseli. Times here.

Sonnet rap marathon with Devon Glover (The Sonnet Man) – Shakespeare Birthplace Trust

New York-based rap artists Devon Glover will take on all 154 sonnets, beginning as the annual Shakespeare marathon and half-marathon reaches Henley Street in Stratford-upon-Avon. Find out more.

Shakespeare in Art: Tempests, Tyrants and Tragedy – supported by RSC

An exhibition of art at Compton Verney inspired by Shakespeare's pivotal plays, ranging from painting, photography and projection to sound scores and readings, with audio excerpts from plays helping to foster the theatrical atmosphere. Read on for more.

Shakespeare In Shoreditch – RIFT / BL_NK

Four brand new plays adapted from Shakespeare's works, alongside talks, pop-up performances, workshops and film screenings. Find out more here.

Shakespeare in Ten Acts – British Library

See a huge array of authentic memorabilia and historic artefacts detailing the journey through ten of Shakespeare's works, from stage to film, responsible for bringing his plays to the present day. Items include the only suriving script in Shakespeare's hand, a real signature, and the First Folio. The exhibition is accompanied by a new book of the same name. More and ticket links here

Ivo van Hove's Kings of War – Barbican

Kings of War brings Henry V, VI and Richard III to the modern day political climate and three leaders at a time of war. Find out more about the performance here.

Shakespeare400: Anniversary Gala concert – London Philharmonic Orchestra

The Royal Festival Hall will fill with the sounds of Shakespeare as the LPO perform pieces from composers such as Britten, Verdi and Tchaikovsky all inspired by Shakespeare's works and characters, from Othello to Falstaff, Hamlet to Romeo and Juliet. Music is interspersed with readings from actors Anna Chancellor and Dominic West. More on the programme here.

Shakespeare on Film – BFI

BFI has a treasure trove of film screenings and events based around the anniversary. Read their listings here


Image from The Swan's website


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