THE LUCKY holder of the Golden Sonnet at the Shakespeare Birthday celebrations will be treated to the best of Stratford.
Some 10,000 scrolls bearing some of Shakespeare’s 154 sonnets will be distributed to the crowds before the parade on Saturday April 22.
And one lucky person will be handed the ‘Golden Sonnet’ scroll which will earn them an overnight stay at the Welcombe Hotel, entrance to Shakespeare’s family houses, a visit to Shakespeare’s Schoolroom and Guildhall, and a chance to visit the RSC’s exhibition ‘The Play’s The Thing’ at the Swan Theatre.
The traditional handing over of the quill and unfurling of flags along Bridge Street, High Street and Henley Street and the procession through the centre of Stratford to Holy Trinity Church will mark The Bard’s 453rd birthday.
There will be the usual array of events around the town.
RSC actors will be reading poetry on board the chain ferry and the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust will be hosting free circus fun with rope walks, hoola-hooping, juggling and more on Henley Street.
Theatrical promenade performances will feature in the garden at New Place, the annual Knights and Nymphs Children’s Garden Party will take place at Hall’s Crof,t and Harvard House will open its doors to the public free of charge.
Acrobatic theatre company Mimbre will be in Bancroft Gardens to perform their mix of Shakespeare’s work ‘Wondrous Strange’ at midday and 2.30pm.
And The Studio Theatre and Other Place host a variety of free activities for youngsters.
Visitors are also invited to celebrate the first anniversary of Shakespeare’s Schoolroom and Guildhall which officially reopened its doors last year to mark 400 years after the death of The Bard.
The schoolroom will be giving out hundreds of balloons on the Saturday and with each balloon there is the chance to win one of ten family tickets to visit the attraction.
Drama critic Michael Billington will present The Shakespeare Birthday Lecture, in conversation with the University of Birmingham’s Professor Michael Dobson, at The Shakespeare Institute on Friday April 21.
Visit www.shakespearescelebrations.com/whats-on for further details.