September 5th, 2016

Shakespeare statue set for Stratford town centre?

Shakespeare statue set for Stratford town centre? Shakespeare statue set for Stratford town centre?
The 'Allies’ sculpture in Bond Street allows people to sit between a life-size Churchill and Roosevelt. (s)
Updated: 10:05 am, Jan 20, 2016

FANCY a selfie with Shakespeare?

It could be a possibility if council chiefs give the green light for a bronze statue of the bard to be installed in Stratford town centre as part of the 400th anniversary commemorations of his death.

Back in 2011, designer Lawrence Holofcener was commissioned to create a life-size scale model of the playwright to go outside a new theatre in Shoreditch.

But although the plans never took off, he opted to the complete the piece and is now offering it to Stratford District Council free of charge as a public art installation for the year.

The statue, which features Shakespeare as a young man on a bench, would be installed in Bancroft Gardens opposite the Royal Shakespeare Theatre at a cost of just over £2,000.

The former Broadway actor and director has designed a number of pieces over the years, which have been installed across the UK and America.

His most famous work – ‘Allies’ in Bond Street where people can sit between a life-size Churchill and Roosevelt – is believed to be the most photographed sculpture in the country.

A report to councillors said the statue would be good for tourism and the local economy as well as appealing to the current craze for taking selfie photographs.

It also highlighted the statue would further emphasise the council’s support of the Shakespeare Birthday Celebrations in a year the world would be celebrating the legacy of the town’s famous son.

If council chiefs agree when the Cabinet considers the proposal on Monday (January 25), the statue could be unveiled next month to coincide with Mr Holofcener’s 90th birthday.

It is understood he would travel from America to attend the ceremony with his family.

* COUNCILLORS are also set to re-consider joining the West Midlands Combined Authority.

In October, members of Stratford District Council voted against becoming part of the authority, which will be made up of metropolitan councils in Wolverhampton, Birmingham, Coventry, Dudley, Solihull, Sandwell and Walsall.

It has been argued such an authority – with devolved powers from central government – could help save money, promote economic growth, and address transport issues for a population of some four million.

But after a notice of motion was tabled by two councillors with support from nine others, the original decision not to join – by 16 votes to 14 – is set to be re-evaluated at an extraordinary meeting on the same day.

Comments