The schoolroom where William Shakespeare was educated and the Guildhall where he first experienced live theatre will be opening to the public for the first time on Saturday 23 April 2016, exactly 400 years after his death.
The transformation of Shakespeare’s Schoolroom & Guildhall in Stratford-upon-Avon into an internationally significant visitor attraction has been made possible thanks to a £1.8million restoration of the Grade I listed 15th century building. The Schoolroom will offer an immersive and authentic experience that allows the atmosphere of this medieval building to engage people in its unique story, including its important role in the town’s civic society for nearly 600 years.
As one of the rarely seen places of Shakespeare’s early life, the opening will bring a new dimension to the Stratford experience, giving visitors a glimpse of his formative years rarely explored by the public at large, shedding light on his life as a schoolboy and showing how his schooling, coupled with the opportunity to see the country’s finest actors performing in the Guildhall, inspired him to become the world’s greatest playwright.
Visitors will be invited to step into the shoes of young William, to sit in the very room he sat in as a pupil and take part in a live Tudor lesson with a ‘Master’, all filled with the drama, excitement and fun worthy of Shakespeare’s legacy.
Trustee, Professor Ronnie Mulryne, says, “This unique building stands for the history of Stratford, summarising as it does the town’s educational and corporate life over the centuries, and through its foundation by the Guild of the Holy Cross its religious life too. This year’s anniversary gives us the opportunity to celebrate not only the building but the inspiration the school’s most famous pupil has brought to the town and to the world.”
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The awards recognise the finest visitor attractions, leisure and hospitality businesses across Birmingham, Coventry, Shropshire and Stratford-upon-Avon, and are organised by the West Midlands Growth Company.