400 years later Shakespeare is more alive than ever

William Shakespeare
William Shakespeare (photo biography.com)

His plays are more than 400 years old, yet he is one of the most contemporary play writers thanks to the themes of his works. He left behind him more than 40 plays and influenced the world theatre scene. William Shakespeare died on 23rd April 1616 in Stratford-upon-Avon and his homeland is ready to celebrate him with a series of events all over the year.


Shakespeare’s native town is the best place to breath the true Shakesperean atmosphere and the town is planning an extra special celebration for this anniversary. Not only you can visit his birthplace, but also New Place, i.e. where he spent the last 19 years of his life. This unique site, opening July 2016, will be at the heart of the worldwide celebrations of 400 year’s of Shakespeare’s legacy. From Shakespeare-inspired operas and sonnets performed hip-hop style, to an exclusive BBC Radio 3 workshop and creative doodling on a giant Art Cube, there’s plenty to celebrate.  Highlights will include the Shakespeare 400 Gala on Tuesday 19 April and Shakespeare Odes - a world premiere commemorative concert performed in the intimacy of the Holy Trinity Church, his burial place.



Shakespeare's birthplace

Shakespeare’s birthplace

Also, the Royal Shakespeare and Swan Theatres in Stratford-upon-Avon will host a series of Shakesperian plays. The just announced summer season 2016  includes A Midsummer’s Night’s Dream,  Hamlet and Cymbeline at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre.

The Royal Shakespeare Theatre will also be the home of The play’s the thing, a new exhibition opening in June 2016, revealing the secrets and stories from over 100 years of theatre-making history in Stratford.


Shakespeare moved to London in around 1590 and remained till 1613. By 1592 several of his plays were on the London stage. In 1599, a partnership of members of the Lord Chamberlaine’s Men, a company owned by a group of players, including Shakespeare, built their own theatre on the south bank of the Thames. They named it Globe Theatre. Here on 23rd and 24th April the Globe’s world Hamlet tour returns home after two years. In fact, the Globe to Globe Hamlet tour has been performed in all corners of the world, in theatres, temples, public squares and refugee camps.

The Globe Theatre, London

The Globe Theatre, London

Over the same weekend the Globe will invite the audience to join The Complete Walk, an entirely free event featuring 37 screens of specially-made short films along a 2.5 mile route between Westminster and Tower Bridge. Each film will focus on a specific aspect of one of Shakespeare’s plays.

The British Library will run from 15 April to 6 September 2016 the exhibition Shakespeare in Ten Acts, a journey throughout 400 years to discover how Shakespeare’s plays have been transformed for new generations of audience.

These are just a few events happening just in London and Stratford-upon-Avon. To discover more join the discussion at #Shakespeare400.


British LIbraryStratford-upon-AvonThe Globe Theatre
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