This summer, the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust is collaborating with award-winning sound and visual artist Thor McIntyre to create an experimental art installation based on Romeo and Juliet, with a twist: this is the story not as Shakespeare penned it, but as it lives on in our hearts and minds.
Threads of the Unsaid is an immersive retelling of Shakespeare’s tale of love, loss and reconciliation set within the beautiful grounds of Anne Hathaway’s Cottage, the place where the famous playwright wooed his bride-to-be. Over the summer, visitors are invited to help build a script of their recollection of Romeo and Juliet by lending their voices and words to an outdoor artistic installation.
An extraordinary mobile ‘Recollecta Salon’ will extract and collate the many ways people recall and relate to this famous story via their spoken word, whilst their written words will be woven into a scarlet web of woo and woe, which will grow and unfurl through the orchard in the Cottage grounds. The threads of this project will also reach out across the globe, pulling in contributions online via the hashtag #GiveaScript.
Artist Thor McIntyre, said, “I’m enthralled by the idea that there is a kind of collective consciousness version of Romeo and Juliet that exists independently off-script. I’m intrigued as much by how people misremember and interpret this tale as much as the elements that stick. I’ve created some curious tools to extract a script and a new form of audio description from people inspired to contribute to this collective endeavour.
I have also drawn from fascinating behind-the-scenes anecdotes unearthed from the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust’s museum and archive collection. Working with visitors and online contributors around the world, we will reinvent Shakespeare’s most famous work as an artwork to walk within.”
Threads of the Unsaid will culminate on 1 September when the piece will be transformed into an immersive sound installation that will give voice to the crowd-scripted masterpiece. The installation is supported by Arts Council England as part of the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust’s programme of creative and community outreach events.
On 1 September visitors to Anne Hathaway’s Cottage will have an opportunity to meet the artist behind Threads of the Unsaid, and enjoy a day of fun for all ages, including live poetry by the Wandering Poet, canvas watercolour painting sessions, and much more.
For more information, visit: www.shakespeare.org.uk/threads-of-the-unsaid. Follow the conversation and contribute your own ideas of Romeo and Juliet on social media at #GiveaScript.
Summer at the Shakespeare Family Homes
Visit the five Shakespeare Family Homes in Stratford-upon-Avon this summer and enjoy a programme of seasonal activity for all ages and interests – from live outdoor theatre performances and fascinating talks, to family-friendly picnics and Shakespaw’s Day; there’s something for everyone. What’s more, every visit helps the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust care for these special places. Highlights include:
Gastrell on Trial – take part in the gripping trial of Francis Gastrell at Shakespeare’s New Place. Was he a victim or a villain? Every weekend throughout the summer holidays we will be putting on trial the man behind the demolition of Shakespeare’s New Place in 1759. Hear both sides of the argument and take a vote on whether Gastrell was guilty, or simply misunderstood. Look out for Gastrell, he may well make an appearance to speak in his defence.
The warmer days and lighter evenings are a perfect time to enjoy outdoor theatre performances in the beautiful gardens at the Shakespeare family homes. Enjoy Shakespearian classics Romeo and Juliet, and The Tempest, or soar away to Neverland and embark on an exciting musical adventure with Immersion Theatre’s Peter Pan. For the full programme and to book tickets, see: www.shakespeare.org.uk/events.
Bring the family to the annual Big Picnic celebration at Anne Hathaway’s Cottage on 21 July. Enjoy garden games, face painting and musical entertainment, or browse the stalls filled with goods from local traders. Free entry for Stratford-upon-Avon (CV37) residents, with proof of address.
There’s more family fun to be had as Shakespeare’s New Place marks the second anniversary of its transformation on 19 August. Come along to the Celebration Party and enjoy garden games, magic shows, live music and a dressing-up competition where there will be prizes for the best dressed ‘famous pair’ from history. Stratford-upon-Avon (CV37) residents can visit New Place for free, with proof of address.
Pooches needn’t miss out on the fun this summer. All paws allowed over at Anne Hathaway’s Cottage for the annual Shakespaw’s Day. Celebrate National Dog Day on 25 August with plenty of fun and games for furry friends. Bring your dog and enjoy 30% off tickets. Dogs are welcome year round at Anne Hathaway’s Cottage, Shakespeare’s Birthplace, Shakespeare’s New Place and Hall’s Croft.
All activities are included in admission, unless otherwise stated. For more information and to plan your visit, see: www.shakespeare.org.uk.