Not quite the same as your 400th birthday (Shakespeare would have been 450 last year) but there’s a lot going on this year to celebrate 400 years since the bard’s passing, on 23 April.
I wrote last year about how much I love Stratford, and I love Shakespeare too.
Well, certainly well done Shakespeare, there’s no longer an evening than badly acted Shakespeare.
So to celebrate this landmark, here’s a few things that have caught my eye, great gifts for literary food lover perhaps.
Starting with a couple of tea towels, as I do love a good tea towel. First off, something he was great at, a tea towel of insults. Useful to learn to cuss the slower minded with, it’ll have sounded so good they won’t realise till you’ve left what you actually said.
I like this tea towel from the RSC shop, which shows the personality types that occur from play to play and the connections between the characters. Just don’t get this out in the middle of performance to try and work it out!
You’ll need something to dry up, so another way to get to know the characters with this mug from the Literary Gift Company.
And you might need a biscuit to go with whatever is in the mug, so how about making your own Shakespeare cookies? I guess the question is, to bake or not to bake?
Can’t be bothered to bake? The RSC have a great range of chocolate bars, based on different female characters from the plays. Just don’t rustle the paper loudly if you’re in the theatre. I am very fond of the Portia, which is an espresso coffee flavour.
Now, wine and ale get plenty of mentions in the various plays, and sure the bard was partial to a drop or two. If you’re in Warwickshire then you might well find this on tap in local establishments. From the Warwickshire Beer Company, this is Shakespeare’s County, a light easy drinking beer apparently.
Something to put your wine glass down on, these coasters have quotes about wine from the plays. “Have we no wine here?” continues to be a question on a far too regular basis here!
Talking of drink, a great friend sent me this book at Christmas. Combining two great loves, Shakespeare and cocktails, I think it’s fantastic. I’ll be consulting this for something appropriate to drink to the toast the occasion. Shakespeare, Not Stirred is definitely a great gift, I can’t believe I hadn’t found it before I was sent it.
Of course you might want to do a full on Shakespearian banquet to celebrate, in which case Shakespeare’s Kitchen by Francine Segan should do the job. Beef Purses sound like quite the kind of thing Falstaff might have been fond of, and this covers every course and a banquet or two as well.
I’m told it’s pretty impossible to get reasonable priced accommodation in Stratford on 23rd April, but there are lots of events planned throughout the year. I’ve written before about places I love there, and I never tire of time there. Of course, there are plenty of tourist trap type places, but also some great eating to be had. And I still love a drink after a show in the Dirty Duck, you just never know who you’ll bump into.