Coronavirus: Shakespeare Birthplace Trust cancels five big Shakespeare Week events

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IN light of growing concern about the potential spread of coronavirus COVID-19, the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust has cancelled five of the larger-scale public events that had been scheduled to take place as part of Shakespeare Week, the annual national celebration of Shakespeare in primary schools.

While the majority of Shakespeare Week activity will continue as planned in schools, libraries and partner organisations across the country, the following larger-scale events will NOT take place in Stratford-upon-Avon:

  • 20th March: Shakespeare Week Warwickshire Schools Open Day.
  • 21st March, 10am to 4pm: Shakespeare Week Super Saturday Family Day.
  • 21st and 22nd March, 10am to 4pm: Shakespeare Week Art School.

Outside Stratford the following will not take place:

  • 16th March, Shakespeare Week launch, Brunel’s SS Great Britain, Bristol
  • 17 March, Shakespeare Week Portrait Exhibition, The Lowry, Greater Manchester

For further information about Shakespeare Week (16th to 22th March 2020) activity and programming visit www.shakespeareweek.org.uk.

Jacqueline Green, head of learning and participation at the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust said, “We are closely following guidance from the Government, Public Health England and the World Health Organisation.  We have taken the difficult decision to cancel those events which would bring together large numbers of multi-generational groups from areas outside the individual communities of participating school groups.  The welfare of the children, teachers, families and staff involved in our programmes is our first priority.

“We understand that this is disappointing news for all concerned, particularly the pupils and teachers who were looking forward to sharing their Shakespeare work at these events.  We hope to reschedule these activities later in the year.

“We are pleased to confirm that our schools courses and workshops in Stratford-upon-Avon will continue to run, as these take place in an educational setting where we can ensure precautionary measures are in place to protect against the risk of infection.

“I would like to thank all of our partners, patrons and supporters for their continued support and understanding as we work together to deliver Shakespeare Week safely.”