This year, 2014, is the 450th anniversary of Shakespeare’s birth, when there will be many commemorative events taking place around the country.
2016 will see a year-long, nation-wide celebration of his continuing influence and national significance emphasising that Shakespeare is for everyone and not just for a few.
To make this occasion indelible The Royal Mint is to issue a Commemorative Coin marking the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death, 23rd April.
By long-established tradition, his birthday is celebrated on 23 April, St George’s Day.
The register of Holy Trinity Church, Stratford, records that he was christened there on 26 April 1564. He lived for 52 years, partly in his home town and partly in London, and died at his home in Stratford on 23 April 1616.
Yet, as we began, the World’s greatest-ever playwright and poet is not officially recognised. There is no day commemorating the Bard of Avon.
Calling for a national Shakespeare Day isn’t a shallow thespian desire to generate a feel-good factor by showing the world what a Brit can do. Shakespeare was a master communicator who understood the soul.
His sentences, elegant in construction and musical in cadence, tell of love, frailty, ambition, friendship, enmity, greed and more. His truths are still relevant in the 21st century.
His works, ideas and values are interwoven in the human, cultural and educational fabric of our society just as his words and phrases permeate our speech.
Shakespeare should belong to all of us.
YOU can help deliver that vision.
Faith Hines,Convener, Celebrating Shakespeare