On 26th April 1564 William Shakespeare was baptised in Stratford upon Avon and he died on the 23rd April 1616. Most of his works were produced between 1589 and 1613. His plays have been translated into every major living language and they are performed more often than those of any other playwright.

A few years ago the library held a celebration for the anniversary where we had an acted piece as well as readings of play extracts and of several of the sonnets. We can’t do that today but we are offering instead a couple of links that might be of interest as well as the choices of some of our readers.

The RSC has more information about Shakespeare’s life and times and about their productions at https://www.rsc.org.uk/shakespeares-life-and-times


The Globe Theatre is streaming a performance of Romeo and Juliet –https://www.shakespearesglobe.com/watch/romeo-juliet-2009-youtube-premiere-2020/



The Shakepeare Birthday trust has looked at the way in which his birthday has been celebrated –https://www.shakespeare.org.uk/explore-shakespeare/blogs/archive-images-shakespeares-birthday-celebrations/

as well as some colouring activities for children –https://www.shakespeare.org.uk/explore-shakespeare/blogs/colour-shakespeares-family-homes/

And closer to home some library volunteers give their favourite poems/lines:

Sonnet lxxiii                                                  That time of year thou mayst in me behold

Sonnet xxx                                                     When to the sessions of sweet silent thought

King Lear Act 2 scene 4                               O reason not the need

Henry V Act 4 scene 3                                  For he that sheds his blood with me this day shall be my brother, Be he                                                                                    ne’er  so vile this day shall gentle his condition

Hamlet Act 3 scene 1                                    To sleep, perchance to dream – ay, there’s the rub

Twelfth Night Act 2 scene 3                        Dost think because thou art virtuous there shall be no more cakes and ale?

The Merchant of Venice Act IV, scene I   The quality of mercy is not strained

Love’s Labour Lost Act 5 scene 2               When daisies pied and violets blue and lady-smocks all silver white


So despite the lockdown let’s celebrate Shakespeare!