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Work on 'Little Stratford' soon underway in China

Catherine Thompson 28th Sep, 2018 Updated: 28th Sep, 2018

WORK will soon be underway to recreate Shakespeare’s Stratford in China.

Replicas of Shakespeare’s Birthplace and New Place will begin in the new year as part of a new cultural centre known as ‘San Weng’ – or ‘the three masters’.

The centre in the southern Jiangxi Province, will celebrate three literary figures including Shakespeare, Don Quixote author Cervantes and Chinese playwright Tang Xianzu.

Construction on the park itself is underway and it is expected to open in 2020.

Although the three writers were contemporaries of their age – coincidentally all dying in 1616 – they never met.

But the park which will also include a Spanish Alcala quarter and an ancient Chinese village, is set to recapture and bring together the spirit of the celebrated figures.

The ‘Stratford quarter’ will be styled on the Tudor architecture of the real market town, with help from the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust (SBT) after a cooperation agreement was signed.

Although Shakespeare’s adult home has been lost to the UK since 1702, the trust’s archaeological exploration of the site to produce today’s ‘New Place’, will be used for its replica.

SBT chairman Peter Kyle said: “This innovative, two-way partnership will significantly advance our charitable objective to promote worldwide the enjoyment and understanding of Shakespeare’s works life and times.

“By providing our knowledge and expertise to help the Fuzhou team to create an authentic spirit of place, we will enable more of our ongoing work here in the UK to conserve, sustain and share the extraordinary Shakespeare legacy in our care.

“Millions of people who might never have the opportunity to visit our global Shakespeare centre in Stratford will now have a chance to enrich their connection with Shakespeare in China.”

He added the playwright spoke to all humanity and was a ‘powerful ambassador for the growing cultural, creative and tourism ties’ between the two countries.

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