Shakespeare’s Globe will mark the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death by creating a unique Bardic experience that audiences can enjoy for free along the banks of the Thames.
Dubbed The Complete Walk, 37 short films featuring excerpts from each of Shakespeare’s plays will be shown on screens between Westminster Bridge and Tower Bridge on the weekend of 23 and 24 April.
The scenes, which will be interwoven with animation, Globe on Screen productions and footage from the BFI’s Silent Shakespeare films, will be filmed on location around the world. Audiences could glimpse Shylock in a Venice ghetto or Cleopatra by the pyramids.
Speaking about the project, Dominic Dromgoole, Shakespeare’s Globe’s outgoing Artistic Director said: “Shakespeare spent half his life in London, wrote all his plays there and presented them all beside the Thames. We think it is suitable and fitting that the huge range of his work should be celebrated 400 years after his death in a big free public event, utilising the very latest technology, along a public walkway beside the same dirty old river, so rich with history. The ability to make these films in so many different countries, and to show them in an equal number, will be a further celebration of Shakespeare’s astonishing reach into the world.”
The films, which will feature some of the UK’s most recognisable performers, will be presented in cities nationally and internationally following their London premiere before being made accessible on the theatre’s online video archive Globe Player.
Mayor of London Boris Johnson commented: “400 years after his death, Shakespeare is a titanic figure, whose work still resonates with people of all ages and backgrounds. That is an incredible feat and one that will be rightly celebrated across the world next year. London has a fantastic range of Shakespearean-inspired events lined up for 2016 and I am delighted to support The Complete Walk. It will give Londoners and visitors to the capital a wonderful opportunity to take in the Bard’s work in the city where some of his greatest stories were conceived.”
Prior to the Globe’s summer celebration, the iconic venue is presenting a winter season in its indoor space the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse. This year’s season, Dromgoole’s final at the Globe, includes Shakespeare’s final four plays, Pericles, Cymbeline, The Winter’s Tale and The Tempest.