Celebrate Shakespeare's Birthday / Deathday in London

By Zoe Craig Last edited 17 months ago
Celebrate Shakespeare's Birthday / Deathday in London

Happy Birthday, William Shakespeare! And deathday too: our beloved Will died on his 52nd birthday, 23 April 1616 .

Unless you've been living in Caliban's cave for the last few months, you've probably noticed 2016 is the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare's death, and a fine time to have a Shakespearean festival.

While there have been plenty of Bard-inspired shenanigans going on across the city since the start of the year, it's this coming weekend that marks the day the great man shuffled on/off this mortal coil.

So here are some great ways to celebrate Shakespeare in London over the coming few days. Because you can't have too much of a good thing.

Shakespeare400 Performance

Much Ado About Nothing Midnight Matinee
A special midnight performance of Much Ado to mark 400 years since Shakespeare took his last breath.
22 April, midnight, the Rose Playhouse

Flytower Film Projection: Henry V
The National's Flytower becomes an outdoor cinema, showing the film that earned the NT's first director, Laurence Olivier, an Academy Award for outstanding achievement as actor, producer and director.
22 April, 8pm, National Theatre

Kings of War
A single, radical adaptation of Shakespeare's Henry V, Henry VI and Richard III as modern-day political leaders by Olivier Award-winner Ivo van Hove.
22 April-1 May, Barbican

Late at the Library
'Shaoke' Karaoke, a Caliban puppet and readings from broadcaster Sir Trevor McDonald, actress June Brown and poet John Agard all add up to an awesome-sounding Late at the British Library. Plus live music, spoken word, food and drink, and sideshows. DJ Muzz Khan will see the night out with Shakespearean club sounds.
23 April, 7.30-10.30pm, British Library

Anniversary Gala Concert
A special performance marking the 400th year since Shakespeare's death, with music from the London Philharmonic Orchestra and readings from the plays that inspired the music.
23 April, 7.30pm, Royal Festival Hall

Shakespeare400 Walks / Tours

Shakespeare's Southwark
Southwark Cathedral commemorates the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare's death with revealing tours of Bankside, where the Bard called home.
22 April, 11am, Southwark Cathedral

The Complete Walk
Head to the Thames to see 37 specially-made 10-minute films starring the UK's best-loved actors, screened along the 2.5-mile stretch between Westminster Bridge and Tower Bridge.
23-24 April, Bankside

Shoreditch: A Shakespearean Suburb
Wander through Shakespeare's Shoreditch, visiting the famous playhouses taverns and 'entertainments' frequented by leading playwrights and actors of the day.
23 April, 2-3.30pm, The Stage archaeology space, Hewett Street, EC2A 3NN

Black Cab Heritage Tour
Take a tour of Shakespeare's London in a famous London Hackney Carriage with an expert guide.
23 or 30 April

Shakespeare400 Talks

Celebrating Shakespeare at the V&A
Explore Shakespeare's extraordinary legacy through the V&A's Theatre & Performance Collection.
21 April, 1pm, Victoria and Albert Museum

Papier maché bust of Shakespeare. V&A, Theatre & Performance, room 106a.

Shakespeare at the NT: The 21st Century
Nicholas Hytner, former director of the National Theatre talks to Abigail Rokison-Woodall about his contribution to the history of Shakespeare at the National.
22 April, 2.30pm, National Theatre

Find Me a Publisher
Comedian Arthur Smith reveals the truth about Shakespeare's first publishers.
23 April, 2pm, Southwark Cathedral

Shakespeare's London / Beaumont's London
Dr Lucy Munro explores alternative views of London through the works of Francis Beaumont who — like Shakespeare — died in 1616, and whose play The Knight of the Burning Pestle is a parody of different ways of writing about the city.
28 April, 6pm, Guildhall Library

For a full list of Shakespeare400 events, go to www.shakespeare400.org

Last Updated 20 April 2016