456 years ago…

Happy Birthday Mr Shakespeare!

"The citizens,
I am sure, have shown at full their royal minds...
In celebration of this day with shows,
Pageants and sights of honour." (Henry VIII)

On 23 April we'll be joining lovers of theatre the world over as we celebrate William Shakespeare's big day!

Yes, 456 years ago Shakespeare made his first entrance onto the world stage, so we've created a little extra programme of events for you to enjoy throughout the day

10am - Episode 4 of Matt's "From Country Lad to Upstart Crow" will be added to the playlist on YouTube - this episode is all about the entertainments, pageants and theatre he might have experienced as a young man growing up in Stratford.

11am - Sing-a-long-a-Stella! The fabulous Stella Taylor, who played Lady Macbeth for us earlier this year in February, has recorded a special version of "A Lover and His Lass" from As You Like It

1pm - Time for a game of Nine Men's Morris. Mentioned in A Midsummer Night's Dream (go and have a read to find out by who), this was a popular Elizabethan game that Will almost certainly would have played. Think of a cross between chess, draughts and Connect 4... and you have to play games on your birthday! Download Nine Men's Morris Board (printable)

3pm - In the next episode of our GSC's Rude Mechanicals series, we're in conversation with director Tom Littler. Tom has directed some of our best-loved shows (All's Well That Ends Well, Love's Labour's Lost, Much Ado About Nothing, Twelfth Night and As You Like It). He's also the Artistic Director of Jermyn Street Theatre, in London's West End.

5pm - Caking with Sarah! No birthday is complete without a cake and our glamorous Co-Founder will be sharing her baking tips with us as she makes a special cake just for Shakespeare!

It's a packed day, so be sure to keep in touch. Why not share your related events, films, pics and thoughts with the world by joining the Royal Shakespeare Company's #ShareYourShakespeare project? ...and be sure to tag us in so we can see them too!

Twitter/FaceBook @GuildfordBard ~ Instagram @guildfordshakespeare

"He was not of an age, but for all time" (Ben Jonson)

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