Shakespeare's 400th Anniversary
It's been four hundred years, and still a day doesn't go by we don't think of Shakespeare: We love his plays, we study him, and we still use his language in everyday speech, whether we realise it or not.
Over the spring weekend of 23 – 24 April 2016, the banks of the Thames will come alive as London invites the world to join in the celebration of Shakespeare’s life, work and legacy, exactly 400 years after his death. All are welcome for an extraordinary collection of special events and performances, to celebrate the life of the world’s greatest playwright:
The Complete Walk
This will form the centrepiece of London’s celebration of Shakespeare in 2016. Along the iconic 2.5 mile stretch between Westminster Bridge and Tower Bridge, thirty-seven 10-minute films will be screened, each film exploring one of Shakespeare’s plays and including scenes shot in the locations he imagined when he wrote them. Picture Cleopatra in front of the Pyramids, Shylock in Venice’s former Jewish Ghetto, Hamlet on the rocks of Elsinore, and much more. Playing continuously throughout the weekend, the films will enable visitors to participate in the entire route or dip in and out of their favourite plays as they stroll along the river.
Hamlet: Globe to Globe
The Globe's unprecedented world Hamlet tour will return home for a weekend of celebratory final performances. Watch this extraordinary troupe of travelling players perform in their unforgettable final moments on the Globe stage, located between Blackfriars and Southwark bridges.
Walking through Shakespeare's London, you will hear actors perform some of Shakespeare's most energising and emotive speeches, along with some of the most exquisite Elizabethan love poetry in his sonnets. The brainchild of actor Mark Rylance, these walks through Westminster and the City to the Globe, are now in their twentieth year and take place every April. Continuing this year as part of Shakespeare’s 400th anniversary celebrations, there will be two daytime walks across the weekend and the first ever evening walk.
Families, individuals, schoolchildren, scholars, Shakespeare lovers and Shakespeare sceptics will all find something that is entertaining and memorable over the course of the weekend – so come to our great city and enjoy a once in a lifetime experience.
By Robert Keal, an online content writer for the West End on the Thames.