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Enjoy Shakespeare's Birthday Celebrations

The Giant Wheel, photo by Paulina Ozynska. (c) Autin Dance.

The Royal Shakespeare Company is offering visitors to Stratford-upon-Avon a wide range of activities to help mark Shakespeare’s Birthday as part of the town’s annual celebrations on Saturday 20 April, ahead of his real birthday on 23 April.

Don't miss these free events:

PARADE – THE GIANT WHEEL by Autin Dance Theatre.  This is a moving performance inspired by the beauty, power and impact of people from different walks of life coming together. It features a 12-foot tall Giant Wheel powered by 6 street artists, accompanied by music and a large community cast from Coventry’s Positive Youth Foundation, Fred Winter, Centre Ileap and Warwickshire Pride. Free, no booking required, suitable for all ages.

1.30-2pm - Swan Gardens.

4-4.50pm - starts in the Swan Gardens, finishes on the Bancroft Terrace. This performance will also be BSL interpreted. 

 Autin Dance and the Giant Wheel will also feature in the town’s annual Birthday Parade at 11am.

 A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM STORYTELLING WORKSHOPS Free, ticketed 45min workshops suitable for ages 8+. Clore Learning Centre, Waterside12pm, 1pm, 2pm, 3pm. Tickets: 

SHAKESPEARE WORKSHOPS:EXPLORING CHARACTERS, THEMES AND LANGUAGE Free, ticketed active workshops, suitable for ages 8+ PACCAR Room, Second Floor, Royal Shakespeare Theatre.

12-1pm: Setting Scenes. Discover how setting the world of a play helps us to understand the journey and resilience of the characters.  

2-3pm: Creating Characters. Explore some of the characters from Shakespeare that break down barriers. 

3-4pm: Power of words.  How to use language to change people’s minds and world around you.


DROP-IN ACTIVITIES – THE KINDNESS SPACE 12noon-4pm Reading Room, off the Swan Theatre Bar.

Community Flag. (c) RSC.


Workshops have been taking place across seven warm hubs in the local area to create a flag to be flown as part of the Birthday Parade, starting at 11am. Those involved have worked with artist, Michelle Flint to create a flag that will feature embroidery and collage, inspired by Shakespeare, the RSC’s Collection of costumes and props, and Stratford itself. Those that have helped create the flag will be invited to unfurl it and walk in the parade.



From noon – 7.15pm First floor, Swan Theatre end of the building. Free, no booking required. Made up of items including costumes and props from the RSC’s vast Collection, The Play’s The Thing is the RSC’s permanent exhibition offering unique insights into the history of theatre-making in Stratford-upon-Avon since 1879.

Love's Labour's Lost. Photo by Seamus Ryan.


LOVE’S LABOUR’S LOST1.15pm and 7.15pmRoyal Shakespeare TheatreTickets:

This year’s official Shakespeare’s Birthday Performance will be Love’s Labour’s Lost, at 7.15pm on Saturday 20 April. There will also be a matinee at 1.15pm.  The show runs in the Royal Shakespeare Theatre between 11 April – 18 May. The production features WhatsOnStage award-winner and Olivier Award nominated Luke Thompson (Bridgerton) as Berowne, alongside Melanie-Joyce Bermudez as the Princess, Ioanna Kimbook as Rosaline, and Rilwan Abiola Owokoniran as Ferdinand.

The Buddha of Suburbia. Photo by Seamus Ryan.


THE BUDDHA OF SUBURBIAA co-production with Wise Children7.30pm Swan Theatre

An irresistible, heart-breaking and joyful exploration of family, friends, sex, theatre and, ultimately, belonging, Emma Rice adapts the award-winning 1990 novel, The Buddha of Suburbia with Hanif Kureishi in a major new co-production with Wise Children and the RSC.  The production runs in the Swan Theatre between 18 April – 1 June.



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