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Shakespeare Day 23rd April

‘As a huge fan of Burns Night celebrations myself, I think this is a really interesting idea and certainly well worth exploring. Shakespeare is one of England's towering literary figures and anything that celebrates his life and work, and anything which helps stimulate wider interests in his writings, should be encouraged’
Tessa Jowell, Culture Secretary

National Shakespeare Day is the brainchild of Robert J Williamson, artistic director of the British Shakespeare Company.

William Shakespeare was born on 23 April 1564 and died on 23 April 1616. He’s recognised across the world as the greatest literary mind in the history of the planet, and his magnificent work unites the whole world in appreciation of his genius. Globe theatre replicas can now be found in Japan, Germany, Italy and the USA. Robert J Williamson says: ‘Shakespeare's magnificent work unite the whole world in appreciation of his genius. What greater role model for the people of Great Britain? Should we not have a day to recognise this home grown genius? This campaign has one purpose only, that is to have the 23 April officially recognized as National Shakespeare Day’.

Senior Cabinet ministers are backing the campaign to celebrate the life and work of the playwright. John Reid, the Home Secretary, and Tessa Jowell, the Culture Secretary, have both lent strong support to the idea and hope the celebrations would develop into an English version of Burns Night, when Scottish revellers mark the anniversary of their national poet.

The British Shakespeare Company is the UK’s leading exponent of magical open-air theatre. For over a thousand years companies have created theatres in the centre of towns, erecting a pageant wagon or scaffolding stage, and performing great historical and classical drama for a mass audience. Shakespeare himself, whilst growing up in Stratford-upon-Avon, would have witnessed such companies performing in the heart of his home town. Wishing to continue this exciting and accessible tradition, actor-manager, Robert J Williamson founded the British Shakespeare Company 11 years ago, and has achieved consistent critical acclaim for its productions ever since.

The British Shakespeare Company hopes to create fun educational packs for schools, and Williamson proposes special performances of Shakespeare's plays as well as public readings of excerpts from his drama and poems on national Shakespeare Day.

A few of his words about our nation...

This royal throne of Kings, this scepter’d isle,
This earth of majesty, this seat of Mars,
This other Eden, demi-paradise,
This fortress built by Nature for herself
Against infection and the hand of war,
This happy breed of men, this little world,
This precious stone set in the silver sea,
Which serves it in the office of a wall,
Or as a moat defensive to a house,
Against the envy of less happier lands,
This blessed plot, this earth, this realm, this England.

Should we not have a day to recognise this home grown genius? This campaign has one purpose only,
that is to have the 23rd April officially recognized as SHAKESPEARE DAY
. www.shakespeareday.com

Please sign our petition below and it will be forwarded to Tony Blair as part of our campaign for an officially recognised national Shakespeare Day to celebrate the genius of William Shakespeare.

Press Release


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If you are an organization or individual that wishes to support this campaign please e-mail robert@britishshakespeare.com


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