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William Shakespeare

Shakespeare's birthplace in Stratford-Upon-AvonWilliam Shakespeare, the Bard of Avon, was a prolific playwright and poet, writing 37 plays and composing 154 sonnets. "The First Folio" containing 36 of his plays was published in 1623. William married Anne Hathaway, a woman 8 years his senior, and they had 8 children. As an accomplished actor, he appeared in many of his own plays and in those of other playwrights, including a performance in front of Queen Elizabeth I.

To celebrate the opening of the fabulous newly restored Royal Shakespeare Theatre we suggest a 2- night break including a play in the main theatre, guided walk with an experienced guide, backstage tour, entrance to the viewing tower and a visit to Shakespeare's Birthplace Museum.  Further details on our Itinerary and Pricing page. 

What could our book club do if we travel to Stratford?

  • Take a 2-hour walking tour with our experienced guide covering Shakespeare's life in Stratford.
  • Visit Holy Trinity Church where Shakespeare is buried.
  • Visit some, or all, of the "Shakespeare Houses" including Shakespeare's Birthplace, Anne Hathaway's Cottage, Hall's Croft, Nash's House & New Place and Mary Arden's Farm.
  • Take a 'behind the scenes' tour of the newly opened and completely renovated Royal Shakespeare Theatre.
  • Take the lift to the top of the new iconic 36 metre high observation tower and look out over the surrounding countryside. 
  • Enjoy an RSC production in either the Royal Shakespeare Theatre or the more intimate Swan Theatre.
  • Participate in one of the many activities organised by the RSC (subject to availability on chosen date) including "Talkback", Public Understudy Performances and "Shakespeare Unwrapped".
  • Take a look at the Gower Memorial in Bancroft Gardens. This statue features Shakespeare seated and flanked by Lady Macbeth, Prince Hal, Hamlet, Henry V and Falstaff. These represent philosophy, tragedy, history and comedy. The statue was presented to Stratford by Lord Ronald Sutherland-Gower in 1888.

Anything else of interest in the area?

  • Warwick Castle.
  • Cruising on the River Avon.
  • Try a ghost cruise on the River Avon - if you dare!  The Man in Black presents a series of chilling stories enhanced with magic and mind reading.
  • Have a drink in the Dirty Duck - haunt of many a Shakespearian actor!
  • Butterfly Farm.

Recommended reading for your book club

Shakespeare: The Biography by Peter Ackroyd

1599: A Year in the Life of William Shakespeare by James Shapiro

Romeo & Juliet, King Lear, Macbeth and A Midsummer Night's Dream by William Shakespeare are among the most popular and critically acclaimed of Shakespeare's Plays

Sonnet 116 - Let me not to the marriage of true minds by William Shakespeare

Recommended viewing for your book club

The Merchant of Venice (2004)
Starring Al Pacino as Shylock, Jeremy Irons as Antonio and Joseph Fiennes as Bassiano

Romeo & Juliet (1996)
Starring Leonardo Di Caprio as Romeo, Claire Danes as Juliet and Miriam Margolyes as the Nurse.

Shakespeare in Love (1998)
Starring Gwyneth Paltrow as Viola de Lesseps, Joseph Fiennes as William Shakespeare and Judi Dench as Queen Elizabeth.

 

Book Club Tours look forward to welcoming you to Stratford on Avon for your unique Shakespeare in Stratford tour.

Book Club Tours LLP, 33 Broad Lane, Hampton, Middlesex TW12 3AL • Tel: 020 8979 2285