Bard fest Saturday
The enduring legacy of William Shakespeare takes centre stage this weekend for the city’s annual Shakespeare Festival.
Shakespeare 400 is a quattro-centennial tribute to the Bard of Avon in music, song, sonnet, scene and soliloquy that takes place this Saturday April 23.
Called In Celebration of this Day – a line taken from Henry V, this year’s festival commemorates the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death and the playwright’s 452nd birthday.
Festival founder Sheridan Hickey says the 7.30pm pageant at St Peter’s Anglican Church on Ruahine St, Terrace End will see players performing sonnets, along with scenes and soliloquies from Shakespeare’s plays.
‘‘There will be a variety of interludes and Anne Hathaway, Shakespeare’s widow, reading from his will in tribute to the extraordinary talents of the world’s most performed playwright.’’
Joining in the festivities are the Renaissance Singers presenting traditional and contemporary arrangements of songs from the plays. Also performing will be Virginia and Warren Warbrick whose contribution will involve taonga puoro, Maori instruments and song in te reo.
Sheridan says St Peter’s maintains a rare connection with Shakespearean times – an authentic King James Bible that was printed during the playwright’s lifetime.
‘‘It’s a unique experience for performers, students, scholars, theatre practitioners and musicians to appreciate the words of Shakespeare,’’ Sheridan says. ‘‘Elizabethan attire is optional.’’