Marking Shakespeare's Death 400 Years Later

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January 10, 2016

London’s Globe Theatre is marking the 400th anniversary of famed playwright William Shakespeare’s death, in London and around the world.

On April 23 (the date on which Shakespeare died in 1616), the Globe will unveil The Complete Walk, a 2.5-mile-long walkway along the River Thames, from Westminster to Tower Bridge, that will celebrate all things Shakespeare. Among the activities will be a set of giant TV screens showing short films for each of Shakespeare’s 37 plays. Each film features some of the world’s most well-known actors and was shot at a location mentioned in the play. The Hamlet film was shot in Denmark; Verona was the setting for the film on Romeo and Juliet.

As well, the Globe has sent groups of its actors around the world in a production of Hamlet titled Globe to Globe. The first performance was at the Globe itself, on April 23, 2014, to mark the 450th anniversary of Shakespeare’s birth. The final performance will be back at the Globe, on April 23, 2016. In between, the production will have taken the play to every country in the world, in multiple cities and towns in every country, in many cases for free. The cast rotated through the various roles, and some productions took place amid war zones.

The Royal Shakespeare Company will launch a new production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, featuring nearly 700 cast members, in Shakespeare’s birthplace, Stratford-upon-Avon, in February and then tour the United Kindgom.

Also planning many commemorative events is Stratford itself, with young William’s schoolroom and guildhall to be open to the public (not as a one-off) for the first time.

Elsewhere in London, the British Library will unveil an exhibition titled "Shakespeare in Ten Acts," which will illustrate the playwright’s evolution into cultural icon through a series of performances. The exhibition will also include the only surviving script to show Shakespeare’s handwriting.

Exhibitions and festivities will take place at museums, castles, libriaries, theaters, and many more locations all over the U.K.

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