Shakespeare Week Celebrations

Shakespeare’s homes stage family fun in UK-wide celebrations for Shakespeare Week.

04 March 2014

The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust is leading the UK-wide celebration of the first ever Shakespeare Week (17-23 March) with a line-up of fun weekend activities in Stratford-upon-Avon, the place where it all began.

The charity has teamed up with the UK’s top stationers, Paperchase, to run a special season at the five Shakespeare family homes for young children to encounter mythical beasts, enchanted gardens and gruesome diseases of days gone by.



Ribbon of Words at Shakespeare’s Birthplace

Children are invited to follow in the footsteps of the world’s greatest playwright, said to have added over 1700 words to the English language, by inventing their own funny Shakespearian words and phrases. Words will be added to coloured ribbons to create a woven trail in the Birthplace garden.

There will also be the chance to see a giant Wallbook of Shakespeare (What on Earth? Books) by artist Andy Forshaw, with an illustrated timeline of the plays and key events that took place around the world during Shakespeare’s lifetime.

Spots & Boils at Halls’s Croft

Taking place at the home of Susanna, William Shakespeare’s daughter, children will learn about the gruesome and gory diseases suffered by the people of Shakespeare’s day. Face painters will transform visitors into plague victims, covering them in disgusting spots and boils.

Oberon’s Bank of Flowers at Anne Hathaway’s Cottage & Gardens

“I know a bank where the wild thyme blows…” Youngsters are invited to recreate the bank of flowers from A Midsummer Night’s Dream, making giant blooms out of recyclable materials and planting them in the gardens of the romantic cottage, where Shakespeare wooed his wife.

Shakespeare Puppets at New Place & Nash’s House

Children can design and make their own Shakespeare hand puppets at the bard’s last home. There’s even a mini-theatre where kids can have a go at putting on a show and learn more about the stagecraft and trickery of Elizabethan theatre.

Animal Magic at Mary Arden’s Farm

‘The History of the Four-footed Beasts and Serpents’ by Edward Topsell, one of the most astonishing books of Shakespeare’s day, is the inspiration for a Tudor tile making workshop, where children can bring to life their own mythical creatures.

Design a Paperchase Postcard

Children can design a Shakespeare-inspired postcard and enter it into a competition that will see the winning postcard go on sale in Paperchase stores in the UK. Find out more at


All events are free, subject to usual entry price into the houses, and start during Shakespeare Week on Saturday 22nd and Sunday 23rd March and again on Saturday 29th March and Sunday 30th March, continuing every day of the Easter holidays from Saturday 5th until Sunday 27th April. All events run from 12noon till 3pm, and have been sponsored by Paperchase.

Shakespeare Week is a new annual celebration being launched by the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust in the year marking the playwright’s 450th birthday and takes place from 17th – 23rd March. More than 2000 primary schools across the UK have signed up to take part, with children as young as seven getting ready to take their first steps with Shakespeare and delve deep into his world across every subject.

The adventure continues outside the classroom with a ‘Passport to Shakespeare’ giving children exclusive discounts and access to special family events, exhibitions and productions taking place at the theatres, museums, libraries, galleries and historic sites joining what will be a UK-wide celebration of Shakespeare’s stories, language and creative influence.

For more information visit



For media enquiries get in touchwith, T: 0161 274 3311

A Family ticket to the five Shakespeare Family Homes costs £61.90 which includes unlimited entrance for 12 months from date of purchase for two adults and four children. Other ticket combinations are available. Visit more information.


Notes to Editors:

Shakespeare Birthplace Trust

The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust is the independent charity that cares for the world’s greatest Shakespeare heritage sites, the five Shakespeare family homes in Stratford-upon-Avon, and promotes the enjoyment and understanding of Shakespeare’s works, life and times all over the world.

The charity runs formal and informal educational programmes for people of all ages. It holds the world’s largest Shakespeare-related museum and archives open free to the public, a collection which is designated as being of international importance.

The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust receives no regular direct government funding or public subsidy; it depends on income generated through the support of visitors, donors, grant funders, volunteers and Friends.For further information visit



Paperchase is the UK’s number 1 shopping spot for exciting and innovative design-led stationery. For over 40 years it has inspired with stylish stationery, unique greeting cards, distinctive gifts as well as quality art and craft materials.

Always ready with fresh and inventive ideas, Paperchase is constantly launching new products with each and every spring summer and autumn winter collection. Many of these are created in-house by a talented team of designers, so ranges are exclusive. Alongside innovation, Paperchase maintains a great variety of essentials too, tried and tested by its loyal customers.

Paperchase is a multichannel retailer offering in-store and online shopping in the UK, EU and USA. There are currently more than 130 Paperchase stores in the UK, Ireland, the Netherlands, Denmark, France, Germany and the Middle East. Products are also stocked in House of Fraser and Selfridges.

To find out more visit



Shakespeare Week is supported by public funding from Arts Council England (ACE). The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust was awarded £150,000 from the ACE Renaissance Strategic Fund to support the first two Shakespeare Weeks in 2014 and 2015. Paperchase is a partner and funder of Shakespeare Week.