On April 23, devoted fans of William Shakespeare will take a moment to simultaneously celebrate his birth and mourn his death. (According to legend, he died on his 52nd birthday, though his date of birth is officially unconfirmed.) 2014 will mark the 450th anniversary of the Bard's birth (and, possibly, the 398th of his death), and London will be celebrating the occasion in style. Here are a few events worth checking out, courtesy of city website Londonist:
The Globe Theatre
A visit to the Globe on the banks of the Thames is necessary for all theater fans in London. On Easter Monday, the recreation of Shakespeare's theater will host a free Family Fun Day with activities for kids, a classic Punch and Judy shows, stilt performers and access to an exhibition about Shakespeare’s London for free. Even better: Visitors can get deeply discounted tickets to certain April performances when they order with the words "birthday offer."Guildhall Library
The Library will have a week of Shakespeare themed events, including walks and talks. The Shakespeare City Walk visits memorials to Shakespeare’s life on the north bank and incorporates performances of some of his sonnets. There are various prices, and pre-booking is required for many of the events. Be sure to check out the Shakespeare in Print exhibition, which is already open. Visitors can see a First Folio (the first collected edition of his plays) up close. The exhibition is open until April 30.
Victoria and Albert Museum
On Shakespeare's birthday, The Live Canon ensemble will perform all 154 of Shakespeare’s sonnets throughout the day. Other events will include a debate about the relevance of Shakespeare in a multicultural society. Full event listings are here.
Kids will want to check out Shakespeare: The Puppet Show, a 30-minute show aimed at children, exhibiting many of the puppets held in the museum’s collection. The show runs April 13-19. Get tickets here.