It looks like everyone else is getting very excited about Shakespeare’s 400th Death-iversary as well as me. I’ll update this post with major events as an when I find out about them so keep watching this space!
First off the mark was Shakespeare’s Globe, which announced their plans for a “Shakespeare walk” of screens down the Southbank, showing short films and including actors performing scenes from the plays. There will be 37 screens – I think that’s one for each play in the First Folio. There’s also the return of the Globe-to-Globe Hamlet, which has been on an extraordinary world tour over the past two years.
Widely reported in the media, the BBC and RSC will be collaborating for an evening of Shakespeare Live!* on the 23rd April (Shakespeare’s official birth- and death- day) which will be hosted by David Tennant, and include turns from (among others) Dame Judi Dench, Joseph Fiennes**, the ENO and the Birmingham Royal Ballet.
It’s part of a wider programme of events from the BBC, including a new Ben Elton comedy entitled “Upstart Crow”, Russell T. Davies’ take on A Midsummer Night’s Dream*** and of course the return of the Hollow Crown as they take on Henry VI and Richard III. And there’ll be a Horrible Histories special, which presumably is not just them showing Bill and putting their feet up.
Meanwhile the RSC has their A Midsummer Night’s Dream: A Play for the Nation, with amateur dramatic groups taking on the Rude Mechanicals alongside the professionals, and touring across the country.
The Barbican has a number of events – following up the King and Country**** with a Shakespeare weekender in March and a series of concerts of music inspired by Shakespeare.
The BFI has a massive programme of film related Shakespeare activities – I am most excited by the simulcast on 28 April of Ian McKellan’s Richard III and subsequent tours of London doing the locations, although I may also venture out to re-watch 10 Things I Hate About You and Kiss Me Kate…
Spymonkey will be performing all 74 deaths in a single show***** in Brighton and in Northampton (and hopefully elsewhere afterwards). The Rose Theatre doesn’t seem to be doing anything celebratory, but Much Ado About Nothing will be on at the time, or there’s Hamlet in February.
* Their exclamation mark
** Also, apparently soon to be playing Michael Jackson. No, really.
*** I am totally on board for this especially if it has one or more of the Doctors in it.
**** So. Good. Still getting over it.
***** 75 if you include the fly in Titus Andronicus