For many, William Shakespeare redefined cinema, for others it was a nice nap during a high school teacher’s recitation of Macbeth. Whatever feelings exist for The Bard of Avon, this year marks the 400-year anniversary of his death. All year, cities across the globe will pay tribute to the man, but none more than Britain. If Europe was ever on the travel radar then there is no better time to go.
Various locations around the country will hold some celebratory nod to the man of the hour. Stratford-upon-Avon in Warwickshire, Shakespeare’s birth home and final resting place, will be the center of the festivities with a massive party planned for April. Any other year, Stratford receives an astonishing 5 million visitors per year. Impressive for a town just over 120 thousand, but don’t call Stratford a tourist trap. The town seeps with rich history. Reconstructed to resemble its 16th century incarnation, visitors can tour the little town to see Shakespeare’s birth house followed by his tomb at the Holy Trinity Church. The Royal Shakespeare Company, located in town, regularly preforms his classic plays to great critical acclaim. Several educational institutions, also located within Stratford, dedicate their research to the study of Shakespeare’s works and history.
This year, Stratford plans to up the ante. The weekend of April 23rd and 24th, the streets will fill with dancing, performance, and charm. A 1000 person procession will parade through the streets accompanied by famous actors, diplomats, and all others who at some point called Shakespeare their muse. Street entertainers, theatre workshops, and music accompany the celebrations ensuring a party unlike any other in our lifetime.
To check out the schedule of events, click here.
The Globe Theatre, built by Shakespeare’s performance company, sadly burnt down three years before he died. Famous for presenting a majority of Shakespeare’s plays, the sites historical importance inspired the development of Shakespeare’s Globe, a reconstruction of Shakespeare’s original theatre. This year, the theater will celebrate the Bard of Avon’s works with The Complete Walk. Shakespearian films will show between 37 screens along a 2.5-mile walking route along the River Thames. These include films inspired by his works as well as the actual stories some even performed live.
Get more details here.
If international travel just isn’t in the budget, no worries. For the first time, the United States will get a glimpse at the first Shakespeare collection, the First Folio. Assembled a mere seven years after his passing, the First Folio contains over 20 plays and is the source of his continued influence. This historic document will tour every state over the course of the year.
For a list of cities, you can go here.