Richard Vernalls/PA Wire
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Church prepares for Shakespeare celebrations

Tue 19 Apr 2016
By Antony Bushfield

The church where William Shakespeare is buried is set to be the focal point of celebrations to mark 400 years since his death.

A number of events are being planned in Stratford-upon-Avon in Warwickshire with tourists and fans from across the globe expected to descend on the town on April 23rd.

Shakespeare, who is buried in Stratford's Holy Trinity Church, will have his legacy brought to life by a host of actors, dancers and theatrical extras, including local schoolchildren and the public.

Richard Vernalls/PA Wire

 

Richard Vernalls/PA Wire

 

A parade will spiral through the streets before finishing near his grave at the historic church.

The day's festivities conclude with a fireworks display and a line of light, leading to Holy Trinity Church, where there will be a graveside vigil.

Vicar, Revd Patrick Taylor, said: "The church becomes a centre of focus because we have the physical connection with William Shakespeare.

"The fact that he is actually buried within the church, his body is there just three-feet under the stones next to the high altar and there's a memorial to him on the wall at the side.

"We get a quarter of a million visitors coming to see his grave and I think they are drawn by that sense of real, physical connection with his final resting place."

Shakespeare, who penned almost 40 plays, over 150 sonnets, and coined well-known phrases still widely used to this day, died on April 23rd - in 1616.

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