Celebrating Shakespeare

Marking 450 years since the birth of playwright William Shakespeare, 2014 will be a year of celebrations in London.

shakespeare
@VisitBritain

From a world tour of Hamlet opening at Shakespeare’s Globe to an exhibition dedicated to The Bard’s life, 2014 is filled with events to mark the birth of the world’s greatest poet and playwright.

Whether it’s watching the world tour of Hamlet which opens on 23rd April at Shakespeare’s Globe or visiting an exhibition dedicated to his life at the V&A, there’s plenty to keep the most dedicated fans enthralled.

Shakespeare was born in Stratford-Upon-Avon, but many of his plays debuted in London, making it fitting that so many events will commemorate him and his work.

At the V&A, Shakespeare: Our Greatest Living Playwright will examine The Bard’s popularity. Running from 8 February to 28 September the immersive exhibition contains objects from the V&A collection.

Shakespeare’s Globe – the stunning open air theatre on Bankside – is showing new productions of Antony & Cleopatra, Julius Caesar and The Comedy of Errors. A world tour of Hamlet will begin at Shakespeare’s Globe on 23 April and tour every country in the world over a two-year period.

Nearby at Middle Temple Hall visitors go back in time on guided tours of the Elizabethan hall in which the first performance of Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night is said to have taken place in 1602. Queen Elizabeth I herself was said to have been in attendance. Middle Temple Hall remains virtually unaltered since the 1570s.

Another Elizabethan theatre that is open to visitors is The Rose, which was built in 1587. The fifth purpose-built theatre in London, The Rose, once in the centre of a rather seedy hub of bear-baiting pits and brothels, showed Henry VI part I and Titus Andronicus. However, once The Globe was built, The Rose rapidly went out of business. It wasn’t until 1989 that the archaeological site of the theatre was discovered. Shakespeare’s Richard III will be performed here between 1 and 26 April.

The seven times Academy Award® winning film Shakespeare in Love has been adapted for the stage and will start its run at the Noel Coward Theatre in the summer of 2014. The play will tell the tale of how, plagued by debt, tormented by writer’s block and in desperate need of a new hit, promising new playwright Shakespeare finds his muse in the form of passionate young noblewoman, Viola De Lesseps. Their forbidden love inspires him to write one of the greatest love stories of all time, Romeo and Juliet.

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