Being the birthplace of our greatest playwright, it stands to reason that Christmas in Stratford-upon-Avon should involve Shakespeare in some way. The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust has come up with an ingenious way of involving the Bard in the Christmas festivities: a spectacular free lightshow, beamed onto the front of the house in which Shakespeare was born. This modern twist on Shakespeare is the perfect way to get into the festive spirit in the run-up to Christmas, and it’s only in its second year. We caught a show a couple of nights ago and I managed to get some photographs to share with you all.
Stratford-upon-Avon does Christmas lights very nicely; here was the view that greeted us on the walk up towards Shakespeare’s birthplace.
In between lightshows, Shakespeare’s birthplace is lit up with information about the show and when you can see it.
The show features very clever moving imagery projected onto the front of the house, complete with 16th-century music. The shows are different in each of the four daily performances, with four different themes. The one we went to see was Winter.
The performances feature live actors as well as the 16th-century music. In the one we saw, the actress appeared in different windows in the house, bringing to life Shakespeare’s words.
Each performance lasts about five minutes, and in between them an unexpected treat: free entry to the atmospheric garden behind the house, where another light installation can be viewed. It was hard to get photos of this that do it justice, but you get the idea from below: 2,000 words that Shakespeare has given the English language, illuminated on displays around the garden. Very imaginative!
Finally, a couple more photographs of Stratford-upon-Avon at Christmas. Below is the Christmas shop opposite the birthplace, which certainly comes into its own at this time of year!
The lightshow is on until Sunday, so this is your last chance to see it – and there’s an extra-special finale lined up with extra entertainment from 4pm! You can find out more about it on the website.