Philippine Daily Inquirer
Shakespeare’s hometown marks his death
STRATFORD-UPON-AVON — William Shakespeare’s hometown of Stratford-upon-Avon on Saturday leads the global celebrations to mark 400 years since the playwright’s death, with enough star-studded plays, concerts and parades to bring the town to a standstill.
Top British actors including Judi Dench, Helen Mirren, Benedict Cumber- batch and Ian McKellen will perform some of the Bard’s most famous scenes at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre.
Prince Charles, the heir to the throne, will attend the “Shakespeare Live!” show, which will also be broadcast on television in Britain and worldwide by the BBC, and beamed to cinemas around Europe.
London will also join in the festivities, with Shakespeare’s Globe theater— famed for its productions full of detail from the Bard’s era —hosting the final performance of a “Hamlet” world tour which has taken place in 195 countries.
Some 37 short films—one for each of Shakespeare’s plays—featuring stars like Dominic West and Gemma Arterton will also be shown on giant screens along the River Thames.
Dominic Dromgoole, outgoing artistic director of the Globe, put Shakespeare’s timeless appeal down to “fantastic stories that sit at the heart of human experience in all forms.”
“He’s a great wit, a great entertainer and his plays are generous—they make you feel more and understand more,” he said.
Stratford, where Shakespeare was born and died, kicks off the day’s merriment with a parade of performers wearing pantaloons, ruffs and codpieces on its historic streets, ending at his burial site.
Visitors, performers and literature buffs from around the world will descend on the sleepy market town for a day of theater, dancing, fireworks, music.