How are you today ? Ready for the bank holiday ? I know I already took advantage of the bank holiday sales ^^.
So, let’s follow-up on the last blog. On the 23rd of April, was the actual day of William Shakespeare’s birthday. Celebrations were held everywhere, especially in Stratford-upon-Avon, where the Bard lived where they had a parade and a special performance by the Royal Shakespeare Company.
In London, we had our very own celebration, a very appropriate celebration, as it also was the week-end of the London Marathon. Shakespearians of all kinds gathered on South Bank to tackle the challenge set by the Globe Theatre: The Complete Walk: 37 plays, 37 films, 37 screens. Imagine this. On the north bank, people running to complete a full marathon and on the south bank, people walking to complete a viewing of extracts of all 37 plays written by the Bard. Only in London! Before I launch into the event itself, you can check this to see some extracts of the films: http://www.shakespearesglobe.com/theatre/whats-on/special-events/the-complete-walk
The Walk started at St Thomas’ Hospital in Westminster and ended in Potter’s Field, next to Tower Bridge, so about 2.5 miles to complete.
Along the path, 37 big screens were showing 37 specially-made 10 minute films. Each film explored one of Shakespeare’s plays and included scenes shot in the locations Shakespeare imagined when he wrote them. These scenes were combined with extracts from the BFI’s Silent Shakespeare series and the Globe On Screen filmed stage productions. Of course, we had the pleasure to discover familiar and famous faces on the screens!
And let me tell you right now, they were A-MA-ZING !
Each film was great in its own way, but I think the ones that resonated the most with me were HENRY VI, PART 3 (filmed at Towton Battlefield, North Yorkshire, England), HENRY VI, PART 1 (filmed at Château de Loches, Indre-et-Loire, Franc), HAMLET, (filmed at Kronborg Castle, Elsinore, Denmark), and CORIOLANUS (filmed at Ostia Antica, Rome, Italy)
I will not get into too many details about the films. Some of them have been released on the BBC :
This year is an important year for our beloved William Shakespeare. 400 years ago, he passed away, leaving us 37 plays, 154 sonnets and 5 long narrative poems. To commemorate his legacy, Shakespeare 400, a consortium of leading cultural, creative and educational organisations, is planning many public performances, exhibitions and creative activities in the capital and beyond. Other organisations are also joining in on the fun, like for example, the City of London with the Shakespeare Woz Ere program or the Barbican Centre with several different plays and events.