Rochdale Borough Libraries went bonkers for the Bard during activities to celebrate Shakespeare Week, in honour of the 450th anniversary of the birth of Britain’s greatest playwright.
The new annual celebration from 17 to 23 March aimed to bring the great playwright, his works and legacy to life vividly, especially for primary school children and their families.
Councillor Peter Williams said: “It was heartening to see so many young children in the borough being inspired by Shakespeare’s stories, language, heritage and creative influence.”
On Monday 17 March, children from Broadfield Primary School were treated to an interactive performance of famous tragedy Romeo and Juliet with dynamic, engaging and charismatic storyteller, Eden Ballantyne, of Stories Alive! In the evening, Eden, again dressed as Shakespeare himself, brought to life the comedy Much Ado About Nothing, the tale of Claudio and Hero and their thwarted wedding plans, this time for a family audience.
On Wednesday 19 March, pupils from Heybrook, St Patrick’s RC and St John’s RC Primary Schools enjoyed Big Foot Theatre’s Shakespeare Ain’t That Bard workshop, at the Rochdale Pioneers Museum. The youngsters joined Sir Bardwell for an interactive workshop, battling with contemporary hip hop beats and modern day interpretations of Shakespearean text, in order to stage some of the Bard’s work in a refreshingly exciting new way.
Other events taking place in the week included:
- A display of costumes at Rochdale Central Library, on loan from Manchester’s Royal Exchange Theatre. The costumes, from a traditional production of Romeo and Juliet, included the key characters of Friar Laurence, Romeo, Tybalt, Nurse, Lady Capulet and Juliet.
- Manchester Shakespeare Company performed Desperate Measures, a darkly comic tale of power and lust set among the streets of the future fictional city of Mancia, which was adapted from Shakespeare’s Measure For Measure.
For further information about Rochdale Borough Libraries visit www.rochdale.gov.uk/libraries
Rochdale Borough Council - We are a council which builds success and prosperity with our citizens and partners, whilst protecting our vulnerable people.