Birthplace Trust reveals 400th anniversary line-up

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The Sonnet Man will perform outside Shakespeare’s Birthplace during the Birthday Weekend. Photo: Mark Williamson.

A GIANT art cube, a BBC Radio 3 workshop and a World Record attempt will form part of the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust’s contribution to the annual Shakespeare Birthday Celebrations.

There will be a chance to doodle on a free-standing giant art cube, with Shakespeare-themed illustrations designed by artist Scott Walker, which will be in place on Henley Street, on Saturday, 23rd April, next to a stage that will feature live entertainment by local schools and community groups, including Stratford College’s specially-commissioned Shakespeare performance.

The BBC Shakespeare Festival will be hosting an exclusive workshop in the Shakespeare Centre on Sunday, 24th April, at 4pm, and will feature a sneak preview of the specially-commissioned drama – A Play from the Heart: The Death of Shakespeare? – Nick Warburton’s new play about the death of Shakespeare. The play itself will be broadcast on Radio 3 at 9pm.

Nick and BBC Radio Drama producer, Marion Nancarrow, and the cast will give an informative talk about recording live radio drama on location at Mary Arden’s Farm, and then listen to excerpts from the play including scenes recorded with Stratford residents.

Tickets are free and available on a first-come-first served basis. To book online, visit www.shakespeare.org.uk Also on Sunday, there will be a rap performance of Shakespeare’s sonnets.

New York-based rap artist, Devon Glover, aka the Sonnet Man, performs outside Shakespeare’s Birthplace as he attempts to deliver all 154 of Shakespeare’s sonnets in his unique contemporary style. It starts at 11am, coinciding with the annual Stratford Marathon and Half Marathon.

The Trust’s festivities begin on Tuesday, 19th April, at 6pm, with a special evening of opera performed at Holy Trinity Church. See page 8 for full details. It will also host the annual, weekend-long Knights and Nymphs toddlers party at Hall’s Croft, from 12noon to 4pm, where families with children under-five can enjoy free entry to the gardens where there will be a BBQ, music, dancing, storytelling, face painting and lots of fairy fun.

Full details about the rest of the Birthday Weekend events are in the Herald’s Shakespeare 400 Souvenir Supplement, on sale now.