In Review

Shakespeare's death: How to toast 400 years of the bard's demise

Walks, talks, TV and stage shows pay tribute to Britain's greatest playwright this weekend

150519-shakespeare2.jpg

Saturday 23 April marks 400 years since the death of the nation's most celebrated playwright, William Shakespeare. As Britain and its cultural institutions mark the occasion with a range of special events, we look at some of the best ways to celebrate four centuries of the bard.

BBC's Shakespeare Festival

The BBC's Shakespeare Festival has a range of new productions, including the RSC's Shakespeare Show, which is live on BBC2 on Saturday. Former Doctor Who David Tennant hosts a celebration of the playwright's legacy across the art forms, from theatre and literature to music and dance. The BBC's offering also includes the latest instalment of The Hollow Crown, starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Dame Judi Dench, and Ben Elton's six-part sitcom Upstart Crow, starring David Mitchell as the bard and Harry Enfield as his father.

Royal Shakespeare Company

Shakespeare's hometown, Stratford-upon-Avon, will host day-long celebrations on Saturday, with events including live music, stage-fighting workshops and a Blood, Guts and Gore demonstration on how stage wounds are created, all finishing with a firework display. Meanwhile, the theatre company's massive production of A Midsummer Night's Dream, with 700 professional and amateur cast members, is touring the country.

Check RSC website for dates and locations.

Hamlet

Stratford's Royal Shakespeare Theatre presents rising star Paapa Essiedu in Simon Godwin's fast and furious new staging of the tragedy.

Runs until 13 August. Broadcast live to cinemas on 8 June.

The Globe's Complete Walk  

London's The Globe theatre will be staging the Complete Walk over this weekend - 2.5 miles of the Thames lined with 37 screens, each showing a play shot in an international location, such as Cleopatra in Egypt or Hamlet at Elsinore, and ramblers invited to walk along the route. Meanwhile, the company's celebrated version of Hamlet, currently on a world tour, will also return home for the weekend.

Henry V

Performed by a combined cast of British and French actors, award-winning theatre company Antic Disposition presents its critically acclaimed adaptation of the history play.

Touring UK cathedrals 18-29 April 2016

National Theatre, London

The theatre will host a week of screenings and seminars with the likes of Lenny Henry, Simon Russell Beale and Clare Higgins, culminating in a screening of Sir Laurence Olivier's famous production of Henry V.

Until 22 April.

S***-Faced Shakespeare

A drunk cast member is normally a cause for panic, but Magnificent Bastard Productions are making it a feature of their show at Leicester Square Theatre, London. This staple of the Edinburgh fringe sees the cast performing a production of A Midsummer Night's Dream, with one actor among them completely drunk. The rest improvise.

26 April-11 June

Recommended

Frozen the Musical: what the critics are saying
Scene from Frozen on stage
In Review

Frozen the Musical: what the critics are saying

Chris Whitty takes on rap star Nicki Minaj
Nicki Minaj and Chris Whitty
Why we’re talking about . . .

Chris Whitty takes on rap star Nicki Minaj

What next for GB News after Andrew Neil quits?
Andrew Neil and Nigel Farage
In Depth

What next for GB News after Andrew Neil quits?

Raducanu’s meteoric rise: unknown wildcard to grand slam champion 
Emma Raducanu celebrates her victory at the US Open
Profile

Raducanu’s meteoric rise: unknown wildcard to grand slam champion 

Popular articles

Doctor says we should not sleep naked because of flatulent spraying
The feet of a person sleeping in a bed
Tall Tales

Doctor says we should not sleep naked because of flatulent spraying

World’s most extreme weather events in 2021
Wildfire in Greece
In pictures

World’s most extreme weather events in 2021

The man tasked with putting a price on 9/11’s lost lives
Kenneth Feinberg at a Congressional hearing
Profile

The man tasked with putting a price on 9/11’s lost lives

The Week Footer Banner