Working out how to introduce and engage children with the magic of the Bard is a struggle recognised by everyone who has ever been a teacher - or indeed a child.
This weekend, the Barbican is tackling the challenge with gusto and holding a two day festival where families can drop in or spend the day, with multitude of free and highly engaging events for all the family from Shakespearean bingo to Shakespeare-inspired hairdos, that gently introduce families to the literary titan and the life-changing prowess of his works.
Here are our highlights from the Shakespeare Weekend:
2016 has certainly been the year of the lights festival - what with the Lumiere Light Festival, the Magical Lantern Festival and the many glittering celebrations that charged through the city during Chinese New Year. If you missed out, then head over to the Guildhall Library and the Guildhall School of Music & Drama, which is hosting a llight and sound production to celebrate the City’s connection to Shakespeare, on the 400th anniversary of his death. The historic façade of Guildhall will be brought to life with 3D projection mapping technology and a special music composition by the Guildhall School of Music & Drama and visitors will be offered the chance to view Shakespeare's signature on his mortgage deed alongside Guildhall Library’s copy of the First Folio - considered one of the five best in the world.
Suitable all ages
Two households both alike in dignity – whose side are you on? Montague or Capulet? Choose a family crest and make your own badge featuring LED lights. Embellish your crest with important traits for friends and family and wear your badge with pride.
Codasign believe that digital technologies have the same creative potential as paint and canvas. Their workshops enable people with great ideas to use computers to express themselves and bring these ideas to life. They teach coding and electronics skills using free and open source tools focusing on creative projects involving activities such as storytelling, gaming, and crafting. Make a noise, create something beautiful, or just learn a new skill.
Suitable ages 6-10
A mobile hair salon in a caravan. An informal space where people can meet, sit, chat, look through photo albums, listen to music and have their hair cut or styled if they choose.
New hairstyles specially invented for Play On include: Ophelia, the fairies Puck and Titania, Queen Elizabeth and King Lear. Pop into the salon and be transformed!
Ella Good and Nicki Kent are artists who make lots of different things. The things they make are usually about meeting people, starting conversations and making social spaces. Their work meets audiences outside of traditional arts institutions to create conversation and change around society itself - looking at how we, collectively, live.
ROKO Theatre Company will use African theatre methods incorporating movement, dance, chant, chorus, storytelling, rhythm and music to explore the world of Shakespeare’s Witches.
IROKO, winners of the Guardian Charity Award for ‘its innovative approach to education’ use storytelling, drama, music, dance, arts and craft as a vehicle to enhance the education, skills, health and general wellbeing of people of all ages and backgrounds.
Anne Hathaway has not heard a word from her young husband William Shakespeare since he left Stratford to seek his theatrical fortune in far off London.
She doesn't know if he is writing all the great plays and poems he always said that he would, or if he has fallen victim to the plague, the pox or the dreaded Vagabond Act of 1597. He has not answered a single letter she has written to him.
Luckily for her, it seems that you, dear reader, have promised to track down her errant quill wielding husband. She will be eternally grateful to you if you can find his person, or failing that, any evidence of his continued existence.
Were you to find a love poem of the kind that he used to write to her when they were courting, she would be over the moon…
Come and join Burn the Curtain in this unique hunt between the Barbican and the Museum of London, either as a wandering poet, seeking words to create a master work, or as the Night Watch, trying to track down vagabonds…
Join Stage Fighting director Tom Jordan and his assistant as he demonstrates how to pull a punch and fake a slap, as well as other Stage Combat techniques.
Touch, hold and generally get up close to history to discover what normal life was like in Shakespeare’s day with real Elizabethan artefacts such as shoes, candlesticks, cooking pots, coins and cutlery.
Can you link the objects to famous Shakespeare quotations, characters or plays? Armed with a set of clues and mysterious hints, visitors will be encouraged to work out the answer and help bring these smaller details in Shakespeare’s work to life.
|What||Shakespeare Weekender, The Barbican|
|Where||Barbican Centre, Silk Street, London, EC2Y 8DS | MAP|
|Nearest tube||Barbican (underground)|
05 Mar 16 – 06 Mar 16, 11:00 AM – 6:00 PM
|Website||Click here for more information from the Barbican Centre|