Sunday, 16 January 2011

Shakespeare's Birthplace, Stratford

We seem to be always on the move these days. Last week we took our daughter out of school for two days - because we had  tickets to go and see "Matilda" at the Courtyard Theatre in Stratford.
I cannot stop raving about the production - absolutely superb. The show is due to close at the end of January. This show must move somewhere else rather than close - it was the best thing I have seen.
The cast were fantastic, the music was brilliant, Tim Minchin who wrote the script to Roald Dahl's book is a genius!

We decided that as we were taking our daughter out of school we would throw in a bit of education / culture and visit Shakespeare's Birthplace.

The Other Half and Our Daughter in the back garden of Shakespeare's house.

One of the bedrooms.

The dining room. On the stool  you can see a pair of gloves. Shakespeare's father made gloves for a living and the family home doubled as a glover's shop.

Did you know that Shakespeare was born in 1564. No-one is sure of the date he was born but it is recorded that he was baptised on the 26th April, 1564. In those days it was usual for a child to be baptised three days after birth so his birthday is celebrated on the 23rd April, 1564 but it may not be the day that he was born!

Some more photographs from Shakespeare's home.

The kitchen / pantry. To make it authentic those hams hanging up are 10 years old and smell dreadful!

In the garden there is a bust of the Indian poet and philosopher, Tagore who was inspired by Shakespeare.
No, I hadn't heard of him either!

Shakespeare died in 1616 at the age of 52 years. He accomplished much in those years as both playwriter and poet.

I remember studying "The Merchant of Venice" for my O - Level English Literature and also "Macbeth" as well as some of his sonnets. A visit to his home therefore was a bit like a trip down memory lane.
How I wish that I had studied more Shakespeare whilst at school.

We also visited many other interesting places such as Anne Hathaway's Cottage and enjoyed some canal walks. All will be revealed soon!

N.B. If you get offered some tickets to go and see "Matilda" - grab them with both hands before the offer can be withdrawn. It is seriously that good. When I read a review in the Telegraph by a critic who stated that although he was writing his review only 30 minutes after the performance had ended but wanted to see it again ASAP -  I know exactly what he meant and I echo his sentiments completely.

Until next time.


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