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Timetable for the Shakespeare Birthday Celebrations 2022

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A quick guide to what's happening when for the 2022 Shakespeare Birthday Celebrations.

The procession

Saturday, 23rd April

The music starts in Bridge Street from 9.45am ahead of the procession that will see guests, dignitaries, school children and ‘Mr Shakespeare’ parade through town. The flags along High Street, Henley Street and Bridge Street will be unfurled at 11am, followed by the National Anthem.

Students from King Edward VI School will march through the area to lead the procession to Holy Trinity Church, followed by the ATC Band and some of the town’s primary school children, and then the WMFS Band and the civic procession.

Spectators keen on going to the church to lay flowers, can join the end of the procession and will be followed by Shakespeare Morris.

At 11.40am the procession will pass through Holy Trinity Church, where flowers will be laid at Shakespeare’s grave.

Shakespeare's Birthday Celebrations 2019 (55759635)
Shakespeare's Birthday Celebrations 2019 (55759635)

Shakespeare Birthday Lunch

Saturday, 23rd April

The annual event will be in the Theatre Gardens at midday with actor and presenter Alexander Armstrong as host.

The Pragnell Shakespeare Birthday Award is presented each year at the lunch to an individual who has furthered society’s appreciation and understanding of the Bard’s work, with Adrian Lester set to get this year’s honour.

Adrian Lester (55201105)
Adrian Lester (55201105)

Royal Shakespeare Company

Saturday, 23rd April

The RSC will be holding a day of free activities and performances.

The Unwrapped session, at 10.15am, will be in the Royal Shakespeare Theatre, where they will be unpacking the plays and demonstrating some of the skills that are used in making their productions.

There will be a free performance of Out of the Deep Blue by Autin Dance Theatre, featuring a 13-foot-tall puppet, pictured. Staged in the Swan Gardens outside the Swan Theatre at 3.30pm, this performance will follow Eko, a sea giant, and Violet, as they tell a tale of the climate emergency through dance, movement and puppetry.

There will also be a free puppet workshop from midday to 1.30pm in the Swan Theatre foyer, where children ages six and up can make their own puppet inspired by Eko. Booking required. An art instillation will also be in the Dell Forest Garden, with the banks of the Avon transformed into a magical outdoor lounge.

On Sunday, 24th April, award-winning podcast series, The Guilty Feminist, will be staged with a live audience at 7.30pm in the Royal Shakespeare Theatre. Part comedy, part deep dive discussion, host Deborah Frances-White examines the noble goals of 21st century feminism.

Saturday, 23rd April

The K’antu Ensemble will perform a blend of folk and world music throughout the morning on Henley Street. During the afternoon there will be interactive performances and workshops in the gardens of Shakespeare’s New Place.

23rd-24th April

Residents with a CV37 postcode can enjoy free entry to Shakespeare’s Birthplace, Anne Hathaway’s Cottage and New Place, 10am-5pm. Visitors should present proof of address at the ticket desk.

Sunday, 24th April

Guides from SBT and Warwickshire Wildlife Trust lead a walk across Welcombe Hill as part of the Sustainable Shakespeare programme. Learn about the connections between the Bard’s work and the natural world. The walk starts at Rowley Fields and will last around two hours. Booking essential.

Shakespeare Marathon

Sunday, 24th April

The Shakespeare Marathon and Half Marathon which finishes on the Rec.

Organised by Stratford Rotary Club, the event supports charities including Shakespeare Hospice, Stratford Samaritans and Lifespace Trust. Starts 9am.

Holy Trinity Church

Sunday, 24th April

The Shakespeare Service, Holy Trinity Church, 11.15am. The church will receive the ceremonial quill from KES head boy, William Warner, and place it above Shakespeare’s grave.

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