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RSC Celebrates Shakespeare's 450th Birthday with Fireworks Tonight

RSC Celebrates Shakespeare's 450th Birthday with Fireworks Tonight

The Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) will mark Shakespeare's 450th Birthday with a free fireworks display outside the Royal Shakespeare Theatre in Shakespeare's hometown of Stratford-upon-Avon this evening, 23 April.

The display takes its inspiration from fellow dramatist, Ben Jonson's description of William Shakespeare as our 'Star of Poets' in the First Folio. In addition to traditional pyrotechnics, the special birthday treat will feature an 8 metre high frame depicting Shakespeare's face, which will light up in flames. The image of Shakespeare will be based on the iconic Droeshout engraving of the playwright.

It will also echo Juliet's lines about Romeo:

"Take him and cut him out in little stars,
And he will make the face of heaven so fine
That all the world will be in love with night
And pay no worship to the garish sun".

Festivities will start after the evening's performance of Henry IV, Part I with the theatre as a backdrop. Members of the public are advised to arrive from 10.30pm with the display beginning around 10.50pm.

Created by Emergency Exit Arts, one of the country's best and most experienced providers of pyrotechnics, everyone is welcome to experience the fireworks. There will be a designated viewing area on the Bancroft Gardens in front the Royal Shakespeare Theatre.

Gregory Doran, RSC Artistic Director said: "This will be a wonderful way of marking the 450th birthday of our house playwright, and the beginning of a great arc of work celebrating his genius from this 450th birthday year to the 400th anniversary of his death in 2016. I hope as many people as possible will come and enjoy the fireworks, especially our friends and neighbours who live here in Stratford."

Later this, on Saturday 26 April and as part of Stratford-upon-Avon's weekend-long annual Shakespeare Birthday Celebrations, the RSC will also offer a range of free family theatre activities. More details: www.rsc.org.uk/shakespearesbirthday

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