Now I'm fond of Shakespeare, not only because I grew up just 12 miles from Stratford-upon-Avon, bis birthplace, but also because I love his work. I studied his plays at school and university, and I was fortunate to see a few of his plays being performed by the RSC. I have vivid memories of seeing Jonathan Pryce and Sinead Cusack in Macbeth and Jerome Flynn and Sophie Thompson in As You Like It. To this day, I can still recite Macbeth Act 1 Scene 1 by heart and a fair few lines of Hamlet's To be or not to be soliloquy. And one of my favourite films is Baz Luhrmann's version of Romeo and Juliet. Yes, it's safe to say that I love the Bard!
I will be raising a glass to him today here in Spain and dipping into my copy of his "Complete Works". Are you doing anything to commemorate this anniversary?
The Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) said on Facebook: "On 23 April organisations and people from all over the world will come together to celebrate William Shakespeare. The BBC Shakespeare #ShakespeareLives project has brought us together with Shakespeare's Globe, British Council, Royal Opera House, BFI, Shakespeare's Birthplace, The Hay Festival and more. All of these companies are doing extraordinary things to celebrate the man himself, and it will be streamed live via the Shakespeare Lives site.
Wherever you are in the world, you can join our celebrations. We'll see you there!" - Find out more at http://www.bbc.co.uk/ and http://www.shakespearelives.org/
Here are some more links to events celebrating Shakespeare 400:
- By me William Shakespeare: A Life in Writing – Exhibition
- Shakespeare's England in 2016
- Shakespeare Live - 23 April 2016 on BBC2
- http://www.shakespeare400.org/ and on Twitter @s400events
- Shakespeare 2016
- Exploring English: Shakespeare - a six-week, free online course. See http://www.shakespearelives.org/learn/learning-materials-students/mooc for details.
Articles and videos on the Tudor Society for members:
22nd April was the 400th anniversary of the death of Miguel de Cervantes and an article on the BBC News website asks Is it fair for Shakespeare to overshadow Cervantes?
Image: Shakespeare's grave at Holy Trinity Church, Stratford-upon-Avon.