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Celebrate at Shakespeare's Big Birthday Bash

Shakespeare's Big Birthday Bash on Saturday 22 and Sunday 23 April at St George's Guildhall, King's Lynn.

Published: Wednesday, 12th April 2023

Prithee, joineth the pleth'ra of free activities at St George's Guildhall, King's Lynn on 22 and 23 April, to marketh the anniversary of William Shakespeare's birthday.

Across the weekend from noon 'til 4pm there will be craft sessions to make crowns and write with quills (Saturday), and to make swords and shields (Sunday). Our storyteller Jim Kavanagh will entertain families with different family-friendly Shakespeare short stories. Enjoy Tudor games all weekend and on Sunday you can also meet Queen Elizabeth I. There will be a self-led trail around the Guildhall site for youngsters tasked with finding Shakespeare’s missing props and matching them to the right play.

Special Shakespeare-themed films will also be showing at 2pm each day, with free popcorn for children attending. On Saturday join the Horrible Histories cast in 'Bill' and find out what really happened to Bill Shakespeare, the hapless lute player with a big dream. Kicked out of his band, Bill leaves Stratford to seek fame and fortune in London. He's written a great work for the stage and he'll prove all the doubters wrong.

'Gnomeo and Juliet' on Sunday, features blue gnomes on one side and red gnomes on the other, separated by a garden fence and a feud. This doesn't stop blue Gnomeo and red Juliet falling in love with each other. But do they have a future together?

Refreshments will be available to purchase over the weekend.

At 7pm on 22 April, Brigitte Webster will give a talk in the Shakespeare Barn, titled 'Eating with Shakespeare'. An interesting, enlightening and myth-busting talk about food availability, status, meaning, significance and virtue in Elizabethan times. Suitable for anyone aged 15 and over.

Tim Fitzhigham, Creative Director for the Guildhall and borough council Cultural Officer, said: "Shakespeare’s birthday is always celebrated on St George’s Day (23rd April) and where better to celebrate this birthday than in the Guildhall of St George, the only working theatre left in the UK in which we believe Shakespeare performed. I think he’d love the party that’s happening: Horrible Histories film 'Bill', Tudor Food and Games, Crowns, Shields, storytelling and Elizabeth the first! We hope you’ll all come down to the Guildhall and enjoy it too!"

There is no need to book for any of these activities, which have been provided free of charge thanks to funding from the Borough Council of King's Lynn & West Norfolk and the UK government through the UK Shared Prosperity Fund. Activities have been organised in association with Norfolk Museums Service.

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