11 ways to celebrate William Shakespeare’s 450th birthday

Want to mark the Bard's big day? Here's now, with the help of Benedict Cumberbatch, Tom Hiddleston, Morris dancers and some impressive insults

1. Learn to insult like the Bard himself, you spleeny fly-bitten pumpion.  


2. Head on up to Will’s birthplace Stratford Upon Avon this weekend. Take part in his 450th b-day procession through the streets of the Elizabethan market town to lay flowers on his grave. Plus there’s a pageant, music, poetry readings, street performers, Morris dancing, story telling, face painting, drama workshops, cake eating… 

3. Read up on some of Shakespeare’s plays. Like, really speedily. 

4. Sign up for ticket information so you don’t miss Sherlock’s Martin Freeman playing Richard III at Trafalgar Studios later this year.

5. Talking of Sherlock, today’s probably the day to listen to Benedict Cumberbatch reading the Bard’s famous words. Oh those dulcet tones…


6. Indulge in some modern Shakespearean film classics on demand. They are all there: 10 things I Hate About You (Netflix), Shakespeare in Love (blinkbox), Romeo + Juliet (blinkbox)… 

7. Watch this man impersonate celebrities and quote Shakespeare AT THE SAME TIME. Clever, huh?


8. Preorder your copy of the Royal Shakespeare Company’s Richard II, starring former Doctor Who David Tennant. It’s only £17.99. Bargain. 

9. Watch Tom Hiddleston casually launching into Henry V’s rousing monologue, without any preparation. The man’s a genius. 

10. Get your hands on a ticket for a performance at London’s Shakespeare’s Globe for just 450 of our British pennies (normal price £5). Call 0207 401 9919 to take advantage of the reduced price standing tickets, quoting ‘Birthday offer’. 

11. See Eddie Redmayne wearing makeup and playing a girl in Twelfth Night. Just because.