ANOTHER 400th anniversary was marked as ties between Stratford and the Far East were strengthened when Chinese dignitaries visited Stratford.
In addition to taking part in the Birthday Parade on Saturday, visitors from Fuzhou City of Jiangxi Province explored the cultural links between Shakespeare and Fuzhou’s own culture giant Tang Xianzu.
Neither the Bard nor Tang Xianzu knew of each other’s existence but both have enjoyed a cultural afterlife in their respective countries.
Tang Xianzu was a contemporary of Shakespeare who left behind more than 2,000 poems when he died in July 1616. One of his best known literary masterpieces was the play The Peony Pavilion.
During their visit, the dignataries took in a performance of Zhezixi opera ‘An Amazing Dream in the Garden’ and from ‘The Peony Pavilion’ at Stratford Manor Hotel as part of the symposium jointly commemorating the 400th anniversary of William Shakespeare and Tang Xianzu.
They were also given a tour of the Bard’s former schoolroom.
Stratford District Council leader Chris Saint signed a memorandum of cultural co-operation between the authority and Fuzhou City back in December in a bid to strengthen culture, education, tourism, economy and trade.