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Stratford group planning for influx of Bard visitors

Today marks William Shakespeare's 450th birthday, but the celebrations at his birthplace of Stratford-upon-Avon will continue into the weekend.

A group called 'Playmakers' are planning ahead, so the town can handle the 20,000 or more expected visitors.

Emma Beasley and Sam Lloyd explain what the group are about.

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.


Stratford-upon-Avon most expensive place for dental check-up

Stratford most expensive place for a dental check-up Credit: Rui Vieira/PA Wire/Press Association Images

The average price of a private check-up in Stratford-upon-Avon costs £67, while in Bradford, by contrast, a standard check-up costs around £15.

The figures were obtained by a private healthcare search engine -

Veneers are cheapest in Wolverhampton, but most expensive in Oxford.

Play beamed live from Stratford into US cinemas

David Tennant will be starring in the lead role Credit: Ian West/PA Archive

'Live from Stratford-upon-Avon' is launching in the United States with a broadcast of Richard II directed by Gregory Doran and starring David Tennant in the lead role.

It is part of a project between the Royal Shakespeare Company and Picturehouse Entertainment and has already been screened in more than 100 cinemas around the UK.


Shakespeare's works broadcast directly into classrooms

For the first time, the works of William Shakespeare are being broadcast directly into classrooms.

More than four hundred and sixty schools across the country have taken advantage of Richard the Second's first live broadcast from the Royal Shakespeare Company in Stratford upon Avon.

Over the next six years schools will be able to choose from eighteen more productions by the company.

RSC promises to support local theatres amid cuts

The Royal Shakespeare Company has promised to support local theatres in the face of ongoing funding cuts.

As the company celebrates a record year, directors at the RSC said they would do what they could to keep the theatre alive.

It comes as the RSC reported a record year for income, despite another drop in funding from Arts Council England, which fell by a further £0.8m to £16.6m.

The regional theatres we work with across the country face more immediate challenges and we will continue to collaborate with and support them where we can.

Great regional theatre is crucial, not just to local audiences, but to the success of the national companies and the West End and we must do all we can to make the case for its future wellbeing.

– Gregory Doran, RSC Artistic Director

The RSC in numbers: what made 2012 a record year?

  • 1,459 performances of 25 productions
  • 1.5 million people worldwide experienced the RSC in actio
  • 420 actors worked and trained with the RSC during the year
  • Increased the amount of self-generated income to 73 per cent
  • Total income increased by 30 per cent to £62.6m
  • Box office earnings increased by 75 per cent
  • Fundraising income increased by 28 per cent
  • 403,000 young people and teachers took part in the RSC’s Learning and Performance Network

Record year for the Royal Shakespeare Company

The Royal Shakespeare Company has announced record results for the past year at its annual general meeting in Stratford-upon-Avon.

The company's annual turnover topped £62million during the 2012/13 financial year, while Box Office earnings increased by a whopping 75 per cent, to £31.6m.

The Royal Shakespeare Theatre in Stratford Credit: David Jones/PA

In total, 1.5m people watched an RSC production, with 1,459 performances of 25 shows performed around the world.

The company's success comes despite another drop in funding from Arts Council England, which fell by a further £0.8m to £16.6m.

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