April 23rd is the day that we celebrate Shakespeare's birthday. He was born in Stratford- Upon- Avon in 1564, and we know that he was baptized on April 26th. We don't know a lot about his personal life, but we do know that he was married to Anne Hathaway, and they had three children. A prolific writer, his existing works include nearly 40 plays and 154 sonnets. He also worked as an actor, and was a part owner of a troop of actors called the Lord Chamberlain’s Men (later the King’s men). Even today, his plays are performed more than any other playwright. One of the places his plays are performed is here at Agecroft Hall.
In a parallel to today, the London playhouses often had to close when there were outbreaks of bubonic plague in the city. For example, the theaters were closed for 14 months in 1593 and 1594. A year or so later, Shakespeare wrote “Romeo and Juliet” in which the plague and quarantine serve as a critical plot point. The theaters also periodically closed between May of 1603 and February of 1610 for a total of 60 months. During this outbreak, Shakespeare wrote some of his greatest works, including “Macbeth” and “King Lear.”
Agecroft Hall and Gardens has a tradition of celebrating Shakespeare's birthday in April. Unfortunately, this year that won't be possible. We have created a virtual Shakespeare's Birthday event for our visitors to enjoy during this time when we are apart. And we are hoping to celebrate Shakespeare’s belated birthday when it is safe for us to do so.