7th Apr, 2020

Coronavirus prompts cancellation of large public events during Shakespeare Week

Ian Hughes 13th Mar, 2020 Updated: 13th Mar, 2020

LARGE scale public events planned for Shakespeare Week have been cancelled in the wake of coronavirus.

The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust (SBT), which organises the annual national celebration of the Bard in primary schools, took the decision in light of growing concern about the potential spread of the disease.

While the majority of Shakespeare Week activity will continue as planned in schools, libraries and partner organisations across the country, the following five large scale events, including three in the playwright’s home town, will not take place:

· March 16 – Shakespeare Week launch, Brunel’s SS Great Britain, Bristol

· March 17 – Shakespeare Week Portrait Exhibition, The Lowry, Greater Manchester

· March 20 – Shakespeare Week Warwickshire Schools Open Day, Stratford

· March 21 – Shakespeare Week Super Saturday Family Day, Stratford

· March 21 and 22 – Shakespeare Week Art School, Stratford

Jacqueline Green, head of learning and participation at SBT, said: “We are closely following guidance from the government, Public Health England and the World Health Organisation.

“We have taken the difficult decision to cancel those events which would bring together large numbers of multi-generational groups from areas outside the individual communities of participating school groups. The welfare of the children, teachers, families and staff involved in our programmes is our first priority.

“We understand that this is disappointing news for all concerned, particularly the pupils and teachers who were looking forward to sharing their Shakespeare work at these events. We hope to reschedule these activities later in the year.

“We are pleased to confirm that our schools courses and workshops in Stratford will continue to run, as these take place in an educational setting where we can ensure precautionary measures are in place to protect against the risk of infection.

“I would like to thank all of our partners, patrons and supporters for their continued support and understanding as we work together to deliver Shakespeare Week safely.”

Visit www.shakespeareweek.org.uk for further information about Shakespeare Week (March 16 to 22 March).

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