5th Dec, 2016

Shakespeare 400 Celebrations in pictures

Stratford Editorial 25th Apr, 2016 Updated: 28th Oct, 2016

THOUSANDS flocked to Stratford to mark the 400th anniversary of the death of William Shakespeare.

Townsfolk and tourists lined the streets to watch the annual birthday parade on Saturday morning (April 23).

Around 10,000 Shakespeare masks – based on a newly commissioned portrait of the Bard – were handed out prior to the parade, which was led by KES head boy, George Hodson.

He was joined by the annual procession of dignitaries, VIPs, school students, and The School of Liberal Arts from Tulane University in Louisiana, which performed a New Orleans Jazz Funeral for William Shakespeare.

Some of the biggest names in film and theatre circles were also in town over the weekend along with HRH The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall, who visited New Place, and Holy Trinity Church before attending the Shakespeare Live! event at the RST.

The Prince even got in on the action himself – taking to the stage to deliver his take on Hamlet’s ‘To be or not to be’ at the gala variety show, which featured David Tennant, Sir Ian McKellen and Dame Judi Dench among others.

And the day ended with a special firework display as the skies above the iconic building were lit up in all manner of colours with people of all nationalities taking to Bancroft Gardens to celebrate the Bard’s legacy.