Shakespeare Week Message
In the light of growing concern about the potential spread of the coronavirus COVID-19, the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust has cancelled five of the larger-scale public events that had been scheduled to take place as part of Shakespeare Week, the annual national celebration of Shakespeare in primary schools.
While the majority of Shakespeare Week activity will continue as planned in schools, libraries and partner organisations across the country, the following larger-scale events will NOT take place:
- 16 March, 10am-11am: Shakespeare Week launch, Brunel’s SS Great Britain, Bristol
- 17 March, 12pm – 3pm: Shakespeare Week Portrait Exhibition, The Lowry, Greater Manchester
- 20 March: Shakespeare Week Warwickshire Schools Open Day, Stratford-upon-Avon
- 21 March, 10am-4pm: Shakespeare Week Super Saturday Family Day, Stratford-upon-Avon
- 21 & 22 March, 10am-4pm: Shakespeare Week Art School, Stratford-upon-Avon
For further information about Shakespeare Week (16-22 March 2020) activity and programming visit www.shakespeareweek.org.uk.
Jacqueline Green, head of learning and participation at the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust said, “We are closely following guidance from the Government, Public Health England and the World Health Organisation. We have taken the difficult decision to cancel those events which would bring together large numbers of multi-generational groups from areas outside the individual communities of participating school groups. The welfare of the children, teachers, families and staff involved in our programmes is our first priority.
“We understand that this is disappointing news for all concerned, particularly the pupils and teachers who were looking forward to sharing their Shakespeare work at these events. We hope to reschedule these activities later in the year.
“We are pleased to confirm that our schools courses and workshops in Stratford-upon-Avon will continue to run, as these take place in an educational setting where we can ensure precautionary measures are in place to protect against the risk of infection.
“I would like to thank all of our partners, patrons and supporters for their continued support and understanding as we work together to deliver Shakespeare Week safely.”
About Shakespeare Week
From 16-22 March 2020 more than two million children in their primary schools across the nation will be celebrating Shakespeare’s stories and his legacy as part of Shakespeare Week. The free scheme for primary school children and their families is run by the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust.
Since its launch in 2014, over 8 million children across the UK have taken part in Shakespeare Week, which provides teachers with free tools to take Shakespeare into their classrooms across every subject in the curriculum. Families too can take part in Shakespeare Week, with a programme of free events in libraries and cultural attractions across the country, KidsZone online challenges, as well as at the Shakespeare houses in his hometown of Stratford-upon-Avon. For more information and updates, and to register for free, see www.shakespeareweek.org.uk.
About the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust
The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust is the independent charity that cares for the world’s greatest Shakespeare heritage in his home town of Stratford-upon-Avon. It is the global centre for learning about and experiencing the works, life and times of the world’s best-known writer. Through the five historic Shakespeare family homes (Shakespeare’s Birthplace, Shakespeare’s New Place, Anne Hathaway’s Cottage, Mary Arden’s Farm, Hall’s Croft), internationally designated museum, library and archive collections, award-winning learning programmes and digital channels, it provides imaginative, immersive and interactive opportunities for people of all ages and backgrounds to get up-close-and-personal with Shakespeare.
The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust is a self-sustaining charity which generates its income through the support of visitors, donors, volunteers and Friends. In April 2018 it was granted National Portfolio funding from Arts Council England for the first time, enabling new creative and outreach programmes with a particular focus on communities which are currently less engaged in arts, culture and heritage. For more information, visit www.shakespeare.org.uk.