About The Bard’s Night
What is The Bard’s Night?
It is a celebration of the life of William Shakespeare, through his own mentions of food, drink and feasting, which takes place on the Friday closest to the great man’s birthday, set against a backdrop of Stratford’s Birthday Weekend, St George’s Day and the Stratford Literary Festival.
Shakespeare was reputedly born on April 23, 1564 – St Georgeʼs Day. This was also the date on which he is known to have died in 1616. Over four hundred years on and The Bardʼs Night fetes the man, his life and his words.
The venue for 2017 was the Stratford ArtsHouse at 14 Rother Street, Stratford-upon-Avon CV37 6LU (the refurbished Civic Hall).
Themes for the occasion revolve around Shakespeare, the influences on his work, his words, the Elizabethan/Tudor world, and St George.
A menu has been developed with the Four Leaf Clover Foods to create a modern take on “Elizabethan”, with interestingly international influences on a bedrock of local ingredients (Vale of Evesham produce, meat from local farms, for example).
The setting for The Bard’s Night 2017 was in a banqueting format at tables of 8 or 10 in the octagonal space of the Stratford Artshouse. The space was dressed simply but effectively with hanging fabric banners, backdrop panels, with back projected images on stage, a 7m x 5m stage for performances, dramatic interruptions from the floor; musicians on ancient instruments, and linking material.
Robert Ball – the professional artistic director who runs the Fred Theatre Company – joined the Bard’s Night team to cast and direct the performers and create a thoroughly entertaining whole.
The Bard’s Night is a project owned and stage managed by Stratford Projects Limited in association with the independent, professional theatre company, Fred Theatre.
The organisers of The Bard’s Night are grateful for the permissions granted by Judy Methuen – the sculptor who created the remarkable bronze bust from the recently discovered image of Shakespeare – known as the Cobbe portrait – and Kelly Jo Hearsey, the photographer responsible for the images of the bust shown on these web pages.