Shakespeare’s birthday 2017

Saturday 22 April sees Stratford upon Avon celebrating Shakespeare’s 453rd birthday.

Local and invited dignitaries, VIPs and guests will be there as well as characters in period dress, marching bands and local schoolchildren.

The town is flying flags ready for the parade through the town to Holy Trinity Church.  It’s a colourful, lively procession – don’t miss it!

Creating the Countryside

The art gallery and park at Compton Verney has a new exhibition ‘Creating the Countryside‘ examining our relationship with the countryside over the centuries from Thomas Gainsborough to today.

Compton Verney – where art meets nature – is the perfect location for exploring our view of the countryside and its influence on contemporary art and society.

The gallery is open Tue – Sun from 11 – 5 and ‘Creating the Countryside’ runs until June 18.

Festival of Motoring – April 30 and May 1

Stratford upon Avon hosts the fifth Festival of Motoring comprising two runs into the countryside and then a mix of up to 300 classic and modern cars parking up in the town where streets will be closed.

The main display is on Wood Street featuring Jaguars from Coventry Transport Museum and The Jaguar Heritage Trust.  It should make for a great Bank Holiday weekend in Stratford!

Snow in Summer at the RSC

Opening in The Swan Theatre next month, Snow in Midsummer is a contemporary re-imagining of one of the most famous Classical Chinese dramas.  This is the first production in the RSC’s Chinese Translations Project, a cultural exchange bringing Chinese classics to a modern western audience.

The play stars Harry Potter actor Katie Leung and runs from Feb 23 – Mar 25

The RSC in March

The RSC has three new productions beginning next month, two by Shakespeare plus a new comedy from Richard Bean:

Antony and Cleopatra     11 Mar – 7 Sept
Julius Caesar     3 Mar – 9 Sept
The Hypocrite     31 Mar – 29 Apr

Rome meets The West Wing at the RSC

The grand finale of the RSC’s Rome season this summer is a six play adaptation of Robert Harris’s bestselling trilogy of novels about the Roman orator and politician Cicero.

Artistic Director Greg Dorian describes the project as ‘Rome meets The West Wing‘.  Harris’s trilogy has been adapted by Mike Poulton who also adapted Hilary Mantel’s Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies into two award winning stage plays.

The six one-hour plays performed over two nights will premiere at The Swan Theatre in November.  Part I is entitled ‘Conspirator‘ and Part II ‘Dictator‘.

The RSC also announced that the Christmas production for 2017 will be an adaptation of ‘A Christmas Carol’ by Charles Dickens.

Compton Verney 2017

Compton Verney with its Capability Brown landscaped gardens opens its 2017 season with an exhibition called ‘Creating the Countryside‘.  It brings together works by Old Masters and contemporary artists from Gainsborough and Stubbs to Grayson Perry.

The exhibition opens on March 18 and runs until June 18.  Gallery hours are 11am to 5pm.

Three new productions at the RSC

Three new productions open in March at the RSC:

Anthony and Cleopatra  March 11 – Sept 7
Julius Caesar  March 3 – Sept 9

If you book tickets for both productions by phoning the box office, the RSC IS OFFERING A 10% DISCOUNT.

As well as these two Shakespeare plays, there is a new comedy farce by Richard Bean (creator of One Man, Two Guvnors) set in Hull, Bean’s home city, in 1642 during the Civil War.

The Hypocrite  March 31 – April 29

Christmas in Stratford upon Avon

Christmas is coming!

Thursday Nov 24 is the date for your diary if you want to be in Stratford upon Avon for the Christmas Lights switch-on.  Events begin at 4.30 and Father Christmas will be there of course.

The same evening sees the first of the Thursday Xmas markets which continue through December on the 1, 8, 15 and 22.

For a family show, why not get tickets for The Tempest at the RSC or Aladdin at Stratford ArtsHouse.

Also in the area, there are Xmas events at Warwick Castle, Kenilworth Castle, Ragley Hall, Compton Verney and Batsford Arboretum.  The lovely town of Shipston on Stour hosts its Victorian Evening on Dec 2.

There are plenty of ideas for Christmas shopping too – and restaurants, cafes and pubs when you need to recover!

The Tempest at the RSC starts Nov 8

This year’s family show aims to introduce Shakespeare to young theatregoers and families with a first rate cast and some innovative stage effects.

Acclaimed actor, Simon Russell Beale, returns to the RSC after 20 years to play Prospero In a production of The Tempest directed by Artistic Director Gregory Doran.

In partnership with INTEL, the RSC is promising the use of advanced technology in a bold re-imagining of Shakespeare’s play.

Performances of The Tempest start on Nov 8 – tickets are available online.