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Shakespeare’s New Place: One Year On

Celebrating its first anniversary with a community party

Minds Eye
His Mind's Eye

Shakespeare’s New Place, the newly interpreted site of Shakespeare’s family home for 19 years, will be celebrating its first anniversary on 20th August with a free community party filled with fun activities and live performances. 

To celebrate the paper anniversary the British Origami Society will be on hand to run origami workshops throughout the day. Other fun activities include live music from Bukechi in the Great Garden, as well as a magician and face painter to entertain the children. For grown-ups, there’s free gin tasting courtesy of local artisan gin makers, Shakespeare Distillery, and free biscuits for all visitors - while stocks last. Stratford-upon-Avon residents (CV37) and emergency services employees* and their families can visit New Place for free. 

Shakespeare’s New Place opened last summer as a major new heritage landmark and cultural destination following a two-year, £6m capital project to re-present the site of Shakespeare’s family home marking the 400th anniversary of his death. Over the past 12 months nearly 150,000 visitors from all over the world have walked through the grand oak and bronze gatehouse to explore the site where Shakespeare’s home once stood, admiring the gleaming contemporary artworks, beautiful gardens and discovering the story of Shakespeare’s adult life through daily talks and trails, and in the exhibition centre. 

Chloe Malendewicz, Manager at Shakespeare’s New Place, said, “New Place is a seamless blend of the historic and the contemporary, offering visitors a complete contrast to anything they will find in Stratford-upon-Avon, or indeed the world. We’ve had a great first year welcoming visitors and local residents, many have returned again and again to enjoy this tranquil little oasis in the heart of Stratford. We have a great day planned and look forward to welcoming visitors and families for what promises to be a fun day of celebrations.” 

The re-opening of this historic site created 22 permanent and part-time roles, with 47 volunteers regularly donating their time to support the day-to-day operations, from welcoming visitors and giving informative talks about the history of the site, to facilitating fun family activities and tending to the gardens. 

New Place serves as a canvas for new and experimental artistic initiatives, including the Garden of Curious A-muse-ments last winter, and several outdoor theatre performances by local and international community groups. There will be an exciting line up of events for visitors to enjoy including outdoor screenings of The Lion King and Omkar - a Bollywood adaptation of Othello as part of the Shakespeare Film Festival, and an immersive winter festival due to take place later this year. 

It is the first of the Trust’s property portfolio that is fully accessible to the physically disabled, with gradient landscaping, wider footpaths to accommodate wheelchair and buggy users and a lift in the exhibition centre to access the second floor. Shakespeare’s New Place is also a Dementia-friendly venue.

Shakespeare’s New Place – One Year On runs from 12pm – 4pm on Sunday, 20th August. For more information and to plan you visit, see www.shakespeare.org.uk. 

*Proof of address / employee ID required.

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