Jilly: Celebrating 400 Years of Shakespeare

Celebrating 400Are you a Shakespeare fan?

Did you know that next Saturday is the 400th anniversary of his death?

To commemorate his life and works, the BBC and the British Council are curating an amazing celebration called Shakespeare Lives, a six-month festival of Shakespeare-related events, which will be available online globally (free!). Many of the UK’s finest arts organisations and performers will be part of the action. The fun starts next weekend with Shakespeare Day Live, which actually runs over two days next Friday and Saturday, 22 and 23 April.

Shakespeare Day Live will be available on a pop-up digital channel offering odes, Hamlet from Shakespeare’s Globe in Bankside, London, features, ballet, opera, songs, movies and best of all, from 10.30pm BST next Saturday (great timing for any Shakespeare fans across the pond), the Royal Shakespeare Company with David Tennant as Richard II.

Find out more about the overall Shakespeare Lives festival here.

Link to the Shakespeare Day Live schedule here.

Maybe you’re not a Shakespeare fan. Maybe now is the time to give the great man a try. He wrote popular comedy, tragedy, historicals and fantasy, and his stories live on today because the characters are so powerful and the emotions so strongly and clearly expressed. You’ll find love, hatred, jealousy, treachery, ambition, humor, bigotry, cross-dressing, spectacular Big Misunderstandings, lots of sex, filthy jokes, and if you’re willing to put in a little work to attune your ear to the language, vivid imagery, deeply pleasing rhythms and truly dazzling wordplay.

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Elizabeth: A horse-racing fairy tale

Victor Espinoza rode Triple Crown winner American Pharoah to victory in Saturday's Breeders' Cup Classic. Richard Mackson/USA TODAY Sports

Victor Espinoza rode Triple Crown winner American Pharoah to victory in Saturday’s Breeders’ Cup Classic. Richard Mackson/USA TODAY Sports

As you probably guessed if you read my What Hockey Taught Me About Story post earlier last year, I’m a sports fan. I love this time of year, not just because the long dark evenings are perfect for curling up with a good book (reading or writing one), but because it’s time for my two favourite sports: hockey and football.  (Honesty compels me to admit that I’m watching a hockey game right now 🙂 )

I’ve never been much of a sports participant – I blame it on dismal eye-hand coordination and a lack of depth perception – but I enjoy cheering on the local teams and keeping track of the careers of my favourite players. Though I like sports in general, there are a number of them that, under normal circumstances, I wouldn’t give a second look (golf, I’m looking at you). Sometimes, however, there are special circumstances. Continue reading