Stratford-Upon-Avon marks Shakespeare 400th death anniversary


There was a real carnavalesque atmosphere
in Stratford-Upon-Avon, the home of William Shakespeare, as thousands took to the streets
to honour England’s most famous playwright on the 400th anniversary of his death. The procession saw participants dressed as
Shakespearean characters while carrying a floral tribute through the town as crowds,
many wearing masks of the bard’s face, watched on, waved flags and threw rosemary branches
to create a walkway of remembrance. A
jazz band from New Orleans gave what’s known
as a ‘New Orleans funeral’, and a rendition of happy birthday for the British icon, who
was born on 23rd April, 1564 and died on exactly the same date in 1616. Gerald French flew over to play drums, and
spoke of Shakespeare’s global impact: Bates reflected on what Shakespeare’s hometown
must have meant to him: Well, it must have influenced him because
I think his stories and plays are about his life and people he knows, so everything around
him must have influenced him. Including Stratford? Definitely Stratford, I mean how could it
not, it’s the most beautiful place to have grown up, isn’t it.

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