Acting stars celebrate Shakespeare

A special gala concert in Stratford-upon-Avon on Saturday marked the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death. Performers included David Tennant, Judi Dench, Benedict Cumberbatch, Ian McKellen and Meera Syal. The event was organised by Royal Shakespeare Company.

HRH Prince Charles also took part in the show, in a sketch adapted from Hamlet. The gala was broadcast live on BBC Two, as well as at 368 cinemas in the UK and Europe. In addition to Hamlet, the show included the My Lady Disdain scene from Much Ado About Nothing.

‘Never act with children, animals…or Prince Charles,’ joked Helen Mirren, in an interview with the BBC.

Meanwhile, US President Barack Obama visited Shakespeare’s Globe in London. The Globe celebrations included the final performance from Hamlet Globe to Globe – an international production that has toured to 197 countries over the last two years – and short films with scenes from all 37 of Shakespeare’s plays. The clips were filmed in the location where the play is set, and starred Gemma Arterton, Dominic West, Ruth Wilson, James Norton, Zawe Ashton and Peter Capaldi.

‘At the end of an extraordinary journey all around the world, it is great to return home to the Globe, and to be able to perform a few scenes and to be welcomed back by President Barack Obama,’ said Shakespeare’s Globe’s outgoing artistic director Dominic Dromgoole.

You can read a full interview with Hamlet Globe to Globe producer Tom Bird in the May issue of International Arts Manager.