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Orchestra to celebrate Shakespeare anniversary

William Shakespeare Credit: PA

The City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra will be marking the 400th anniversary of the death of playwright and writer William Shakespeare next year, with a series of concerts inspired by the man himself.

The orchestra and ensembles will perform music spanning four centuries inspired by the Warwickshire-born writer's plays.

Events are being planned around the world next year to mark the special anniversary.

The CBSO's performances begin with Henry V in January.

“Shakespeare is in the lifeblood of the Midlands, it is where he grew up and where he is buried. We....are thrilled to be celebrating his life with ‘Our Shakespeare’, which we believe is the world’s largest scale concert series celebrating the music inspired by the playwright’s work.

We look forward to sharing those musical events with our audiences across the Midlands.

– Stephen Maddock, CBSO Chief Executive

These concerts are being held in partnership with a whole host of other arts organisations in the Midlands. They include the Birmingham Royal Ballet, Birmingham Repertory Theatre, Library of Birmingham, Ex Cathedra, Barber Institute, Shakespeare Institute and University of Birmingham.

Click here to find out 20 common phrases invented by the Bard.


Weekend Picks: Shakespeare's Hamlet performed at the Dorothy Clive Gardens in Shropshire

Shakespeare’s Hamlet will be performed at the Dorothy Clive Garden in Shropshire Credit: David Jensen/EMPICS Entertainment/PA Wire/Press Association Images

This Saturday Folksy Theatre bring their open air theatre performance of Shakespeare’s Hamlet to the Dorothy Clive Garden in Shropshire. The performance will be filled with live folk music and characters as you have never seen before.

This family friendly event can be enjoyed by all and you can bring your own picnic and blankets, relax and enjoy the performance under the summer sky.

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PM asked to create national day commemorating Shakespeare

The PM has been urged to create a national day to commemorate the birth of Shakespeare Credit: PA Wire

David Cameron has been urged to create a national day to commemorate the birth of playwright William Shakespeare.

The 450th anniversary of Shakespeare's birth has been celebrated in recent days, leading to the MP for Stratford-upon-Avon to make the request to the prime minister.

Mr Cameron disclosed to MPs that he was inspired and driven on by Henry V's speech before the Battle of Agincourt.

Shakespeare's house in Stratford-upon-Avon Credit: ITV News Central

In a lengthy question which appeared to have taken inspiration from Shakespeare's works, Conservative MP Nadhim Zahawi referred to the Prime Minister as he said:

"Could this right honourable man, the captain of our state, lend his help to make our national poet's birth a national day, and could he disclose before the House what Shakespeare means to him?"

Mr Cameron replied: "Can I thank you for that beautifully and brilliantly crafted question about the anniversary of Shakespeare's birth.

It is a moment for celebration, not just here in Britain but all across the world, where Shakespeare's works are getting a wider and wider understanding and distribution.

I won't attempt the quotes you have brought out in your question.

But I would say to any politician, if you read Henry V's speech before Agincourt - if that doesn't inspire and drive you on, I can't think what does."


'Shakespeare's Church' bell ringing celebrations

Bell ringers at the Holy Trinity church in Stratford are taking part in Shakespeare's 450th birthday celebrations.

The church itself is known as 'Skakespeare's Church', as it is where he was baptised. He is also buried within the chancel.

Ringing Master, Charles Wilson, explains some of the history of bell ringing at the church.

Shakespeare's Birthday celebrations

William Shakespeare turns 450 today Credit: PA

Celebrations are starting today in Stratford-upon-Avon for William Shakespeare's birthday. The famous playwright was born in the town in 1564.

The Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) will celebrate Shakepeare's 450th birthday with a firework display from the top of the Royal Shakespeare Theatre after the evening performance of Henry IV, Part 1.

The celebrations will continue over the weekend offering a range of free family theatre activities including stage fighting workshops and blood, guts and gore make-up classes.

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