– The jewel in the crown of the 400th anniversary celebrations –
In 2016 the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust will open a fresh chapter in the story of William Shakespeare in Stratford upon Avon. To mark the global 400th anniversary celebrations of Shakespeare’s legacy next year, the charity is reinventing Shakespeare’s New Place, the ground where he had his family home for 19 years through the prime of his life. It is creating a major new heritage landmark as a permanent celebration of the playwright’s influence for future generations.
The project at New Place is a retelling, rather than a rebuilding, of Shakespeare’s personal home which was unfortunately demolished three centuries ago, and the plot has stood empty in honour of Shakespeare ever since.
The reopening of Shakespeare’s New Place will be a key highlight of the worldwide celebrations of the playwright’s 400 year legacy throughout 2016. The transformation of the historic site into a major new heritage landmark will retell the story of Shakespeare showcasing specially commissioned artworks as well as a major new exhibition in a modern setting, which will be displayed in the Grade 1 Tudor Nash’s House, adjacent to New Place.
This new heritage landmark will allow visitors to walk across the footprint of Shakespeare’s home, through beautiful gardens on the land he owned, and end with a dynamic new exhibition showcasing his life. They will be encouraged to set their imaginations free, just as Shakespeare did when he lived at New Place. It will create a picture of Shakespeare the man – father, husband and businessman, as well as a playwright – and demonstrate his enduring influence as a source of creativity across the world.
Diana Owen, Chief Executive Officer of the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust said, “Shakespeare’s New Place will be the single most significant and enduring Shakespearian project anywhere in the world to celebrate 400 years of Shakespeare’s legacy.
“Visitors will meet the Shakespeare we seldom hear about; the living, breathing man behind the works. It will be a place to discover Shakespeare’s connections with the real people and the world of his own time, and to find out just how that is still relevant today.
“Shakespeare’s New Place represents the heart and soul of the playwright we know so well, the essence of his creativity and brilliance, and it will be the first time this side of Shakespeare has been showcased to the public such a way.”
Julie Crawshaw, Project Manager Shakespeare’s New Place added: “Creating this internationally important heritage site, one which will be a beacon for Shakespearian lovers across the globe, is a true labour of love.
“The Trust knows just how powerful this site is. We are working with world leading artists, landscapers, gardeners, historians and artisanal craftsmen (many experts of almost forgotten skills) to bring New Place back to life and to give our visitors a new, contemporary, once in a life time experience. Thanks to the passion and skill of our team of artisans we are on track to open in summer 2016. Expect to hear a raft of announcements on artworks, artists, plans and more over the coming months.”
The charity has released its first video to showcase the making of Shakespeare’s New Place, which can be viewed at www.shakespeare.org.uk.
The £5.25 million project – the most ambitious and permanent initiative to mark the quatercentenary of Shakespeare’s death – is being funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, Historic England and private donations.