With April just around the corner, Shakespeareans around the world will be planning how to celebrate Shakespeare’s birthday on the 23rd. I looked forward to the 2017 events a few weeks ago, and this post is to provide an update on what will be going on in Stratford-upon-Avon, the town where he was born and died.
The Birthday luncheon on Saturday 22nd is now sold out, but tickets are still available for the new initiative, The Bard’s Night. This grown-up evening will go up to and beyond midnight on Friday 21 April, and promises to be a terrific start to the weekend’s proceedings. The website promises “The Bard’s Night will be a highly enjoyable feast of food, drinks and astonishingly good performances from Fred Theatre, Diabolus in Musica, Bukechi and others”.
It will feature favourite songs and speeches from many of the plays as well as spinoffs such as Brush up Your Shakespeare from the musical Kiss Me, Kate. The full programme is available on the website, as is the menu, and the event will take place at the ArtsHouse in Rother Street, Stratford-upon-Avon. If you’re on Twitter, there’s a chance to win a ticket to The Bard’s Night. All you have to do is to follow @BardsNight to be entered into a prize draw. Tickets will be drawn on 1 April so you have to get in today 31 March 2017!
Of course the traditional floral procession will take place as usual on the morning of Saturday 22nd April. Town Clerk Sarah Summers says “come and join in the festivities in 2017 – as well as the Birthday Parade, there will be entertainment and activities for all the family taking place around the town, many of them outdoors and mostly free of charge. It will be a perfect way to finish the Easter holidays.”
And the RSC are holding their own events at the theatre and in their gardens including acrobatic performances and demonstrations.
The Birthday weekend is always a great time to visit Stratford-upon-Avon and this year it comes at the end of the Easter break, perfect timing for anyone on holiday, or wanting to do something different before getting back to work.