It’s the 400th anniversary of the death of the Bard this year and with the 23rd April swiftly approaching there are lots of amazing events, exhibitions, and performances celebrating the man, his life, and works to enjoy.
Though there are events happening all year to honour William Shakespeare for 400 years of inspiration, a lot of the coolest events to celebrate are happening over the weekend of 23rd/24th April as Shakespeare died on 23rd April 1616.
At BrainPOP UK we’ll be celebrating by making our William Shakespeare topic our free featured movie on the 23rd April so be sure to kick start your Shakespeare-a-thon with Tim and Moby.
If you’re a subscriber don’t forget to check out our Drama and Poetry topics as well! But after you’ve BrainPOPped, enjoyed a very dramatic Moby, and are pumped up with Shakespeare facts what else can you do to mark the man?
The Complete Walk
23 April – 24 April 2016
As you’d expect Shakespeare’s Globe have a lot going on this year alongside their usual helping of great theatre. We love the sound of a pop-up cinema project called “The Complete Walk”. On the 23rd-24th April 37 specially made 10-minute films that will be screened along the 2.5 mile stretch between Westminster Bridge and Tower Bridge.
Each film explores one of Shakespeare’s plays and include scenes from the plays shot in the locations that Shakespeare imagined them to take place combined with extracts from the BFI’s early silent films and filmed stage productions. The films will play continuously through the weekend and you can download a digital map ahead of the event.
22 April – 24 April 2016
“Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?”
Don’t forget Shakespeare wasn’t just a playwright! In the Sonnet Walks by Shakespeare’s Globe you’ll enjoy a 2 hour walk through London in historic places familiar to Shakespeare while hearing some of Shakespeare’s most compelling speeches and most romantic sonnets performed by actors.
By me, William Shakespeare
3 February – 29 May 2016
By me, William Shakespeare is a unique exhibition of carefully selected documents relating to Shakespeare’s life that track his life in London, as “a businessman, a family man and servant to the King and even possibly a thief and a subversive.”
They explore both his domestic and professional lives, what it meant to live in the Elizabethan and Jacobean eras and the social impact of his plays.
Shakespeare in Ten Acts
Until 6 September 2016
The British Library’s Shakespeare in Ten Acts exhibition explores 400 years of history from the plays’ very first performances, showing how his plays have been interpretted by generations.
Ground-breaking moments in stage such as the first stage appearance by a female actor in 1660 and the first British performance of Othello by a black actor in 1825 are explored as well as their social impact.
Amazing props and costumes from celebrated performances join rare and unique items such as the only surviving play-script in Shakespeare’s hand and Shakespeare’s First Folio.
(As a side note the British Library’s new online Shakespeare resource is also pretty cool and worth a look! Discovering Literature: Shakespeare)
19 – 22 April
The National Theatre is marking the anniversary by hosting some great events, talks and discussions around various topics from The Web of Our Life: Shakespeare and Migration, The Web of Our Life: Shakespeare and Old Age, and Shakespeare at the NT: Writer for Today. Plus they have a great digital exhibition exploring Shakespeare at the National Theatre to boot.
Celebrating Shakespeare: Flytower Film projection of Olivier’s Henry V
22 April, 8pm
The National Theatre’s Flytower is being turned a massive outdoor cinema for the occasion and will be showing the film that earned the NT’s first Artistic Director, Laurence Olivier, a special Academy Award for outstanding achievement as actor, producer and director
13 – 27 April
Malvolio’s Misorder is a fun theatrical tour at the Victoria and Albert Museum where you’ll join characters from Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night, famous items from the V&A collections and meet Malvolio “…who has been practising speeches all day for his tour of Lady Olivia’s private collections but things very quickly start to go wrong once his guests arrive…”
To find more events and find things specific to your area be sure to check out Shakespeare400 which collects listings for events running to celebrate the 400th anniversary happening all across 2016.
But, of course, “brevity is the soul of wit” so I’ll finish by simply saying “If BrainPOP be the food of love, play on…”.