Tuesday, April 11, 2006

A Bard Day's Night

Stratford's RSC lifts the curtain on its year-long Complete Works celebration with a jam-packed day of special events on April 23 - the anniversary of both the Bard's birth and death.

The Complete Works Festival, which runs from April 2006 to April 2007, includes productions by theatre companies from all over the world and is the first time all 37 of the plays, as well as the major poems and sonnets, have been performed at the same event.
Launch specials range from a football match between the RSC actors from Romeo and Juliet - with Montagues taking on Capulets (Swan Theatre Gardens, 1pm) - to visits from some of the project's leading lights.

In the Swan's Birthday Marquee, Dame Judi Dench will be in public conversation with journalist Matt Wolf, Patrick Stewart and RSC advisory director John Barton will share their thoughts on staging Shakespeare and actresses Janet Suzman and Harriet Walter will reveal the finer points of playing Cleopatra with Professor Carl Rutter (from 1pm).

Actors from stage and BBC television and radio will join local artists, businesses and members of the public to create The Complete Work...of Art, a huge image of the great man himself divided into 90 parts given to participants throughout the day and assembled and unveiled outside the RST at around 4.30pm.

In the first of a series of Broadside Brunch Debates, Archbishop of Canterbury Dr Rowan Williams joins a panel chaired by James Naughtie from BBC Radio Four's Today programme and The Book Club to discuss Shakespeare and the Creative Imagination (Birthday Marquee, 2.30pm). Tickets at �10 for the opening event and �15 thereafter include a light meal at the RST restaurant and live music. Ot"

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