London celebrates the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death

Residents and tourists across London marked the 400th anniversary of the death of William Shakespeare this weekend. A series of events helped to bring his works to life for a new generation, as well as delighting fans of all ages from across the globe.

Much of the celebrations revolved around the Globe Theatre on the South Bank, which is one of the more unusual venues in London. The design of the building replicates the style of theatres seen during the Elizabethan era when plays were staged in the open.

Characters brought to life

Over the weekend, characters from some of the playwright’s best-known works lined the route along the river to entertain those around the site, as well as visitors passing on some of the Thames luxury charters that cruise on the river.

Special films

Short films were transmitted on several giant screens, covering a stretch of the river from Tower Bridge to Westminster. These showed each of the 37 plays that Shakespeare wrote during his life.

The films, produced for the event, featured well-known actors, including Peter Capaldi, Gemma Arterton, Ruth Wilson, Dominic West and James Norton, performing their lines in the original locations that Shakespeare set his plays. These included Julius Caesar in a Roman Forum, Hamlet at Elsinore and Cleopatra in Egypt.

One of the highlights of the weekend was a performance of Hamlet within the theatre itself. This was a culmination of two years work for the Hamlet company, which has seen them tour the production around 197 different countries and put on 293 performances in 202 venues. They also performed some scenes on Saturday for President Obama, who was on a state visit to the UK.