Let Blackpool be stage for the Bard

Coun David Owen is launching a Shakespeare initiative in Blackpool
Coun David Owen is launching a Shakespeare initiative in Blackpool
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‘All the world’s a stage’ wrote Shakespeare, and an ambitious councillor intends to make that just the case in Blackpool.

Coun David Owen, has launched a campaign to celebrate the life and works of William Shakespeare on the 450th anniversary of his birth next year.

The deputy mayor wants the complete works of Shakespeare to be performed by groups, organisations, workforces and schools in venues across the resort.

Coun Owen said: “William Shakespeare’s impact on the English language, our culture and the culture of wider world is virtually unparalleled and I feel a celebration of his life and works could be enormously rewarding and educational. I look forward to hearing from groups that want to get involved and I would urge people to seize this opportunity to do something special.

“In Coriolanus, Shakespeare wrote: ‘What is the city but the people?’ We, the people, are the ones who can make this a magnificent event.”

Coun Owen’s proposal is that all 37 of Shakespeare’s plays, together with 154 sonnets and the six long poems, will be presented throughout the town from April 26, 2014 – 450 years since his birth.

Venues could include anywhere from the town hall to the Comedy Carpet or the Grand Theatre stage to any of the piers, as well as pubs, schools and local theatres.

The idea has been welcomed by thespians from across the Fylde coast.

Colin Snell, who used to run Grand Theatre Youth Company, said: “Anything that takes theatre out and about and encourages audiences is to be welcomed.”

And Julian Wilde, who organises theatre at Lytham Hall, said: “It’s an enterprising idea and a very big ask – there was no Shakespeare performed in Blackpool this year.

“I wish this every success.”

No-one Bard from recital opportunity

It is hoped groups of all ages and abilities will join the Shakespeare initiative, schools and colleges to employees from a range of workplaces and church or am dram groups.

Applications are now being encouraged and groups are requested to make contact by the end of October.

It is planned for a draw to be held in the Mayor’s Parlour in Blackpool Town Hall in November to match people to plays and venues will be drawn from a lottery.

It is up to each group to decide how much or how little of the play is performed and whether or not it is done in costume with accompanying music or song.

Groups can write to Coun David Owen, at Blackpool Town Hall or cllr.david.owen@blackpool.gov.uk.

Please include the group’s name and full contact details.

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