Celebrating the Bard

Museums, libraries, galleries and heritage attractions across the UK are taking part in this year’s Shakespeare Week

Organised by the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, Shakespeare Week (16-22 March) is a national campaign to bring to life Shakespeare’s life and stories for the next generation. This year it will be celebrated by more than one million 5-11-year-olds when Shakespeare pops up in unexpected places around the country, from Westminster Abbey to the Forest of Arden.

Public libraries will be joining in with a line-up of family events, including screenings of a new short film about the young William Shakespeare, produced especially for the week and titled ‘Unwillingly to School’.

Other events during the week include: 

• creating a Forest of Arden in the gardens of Anne Hathaway’s cottage in Stratford-upon-Avon

• a trail around the galleries at Plymouth City Museum and Art Gallery to search for paintings of Shakespeare’s contemporaries

• some of Shakespeare’s best-loved characters living out their famous stories at Tudor House & Garden in Southampton

• Tudor-themed costume- and prop-making activities at The Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge

• a chance to explore the history plays in Westminster Abbey where two of Shakespeare’s kings are buried

• a musical adaptation of ‘Twelfth Night’ performed by children from Overchurch Primary School at Cheshire’s Tatton Park

• a Macbeth-themed mock trial in a real courtroom at Galleries of Justice Museum in Nottingham

Jacqueline Green, head of learning and participation at the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust says: “We can’t wait to see how over one million children around the country will be getting to know Shakespeare, his characters and his stories. We’ve been thrilled to welcome on board a whole range of cultural attractions, which are helping us to ignite in children a lifelong enjoyment of Shakespeare with a fantastically creative line-up of events for schools and families.”

Shakespeare Week events and activities are free (entry to family attractions may apply). 

Shakespeare Week runs from 16-22 March W: www.shakespeare.org.uk 

Pic: copyright Amy Murrell

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