Happy Birthday Shakespeare!

  It’s the big man’s birthday! Here are seven ways you can join in William Shakespeare’s 457th digital birthday party

4 minute read

How big does a cake need to be to fit 457 candles? (And should it be a Colin or a Cuthbert 🐛?) William Shakespeare turns another year older today, and once again it’s a lockdown birthday, so we’re throwing a digital party for everyone around the world to join in and celebrate.

So don your best frock (we’ve spoken to Shakespeare, and fortunately, we’ve convinced him not to wear his birthday suit), grab a glass of fizz, and get ready for a whole host of FUN.

A bright red background with a cut out of Shakespeare, wearing a party hat, surrounded by balloons. Text reads: Happy Birthday Shakey!

‘It is my (457th) birth-day’ — Antony and Cleopatra, Act III, scene 13.

The view from the stage of an outdoor theatre looks out at members of the public who are touring it

Take a Guided Tour of the Globe Theatre, or explore our wooden ‘O’ virtually. Photographer: Pete Le May

 Explore the Globe Theatre

We recently reopened our doors for Globe Theatre Guided Tours once more. Join us this weekend and be swept back in time to Elizabethan London as our expert storytellers share the history of Shakespeare, the original 1599 Globe Theatre, and our wooden ‘O’ today.

If you can’t see us in person for a Guided Tour, you can step foot in our Globe digitally with our virtual tour and 360 iOS app, a free interactive experience with photos, videos and audible delights to guide you along the way.

Champion the ‘great globe itself’

This 23–24 April, in our free, online Globe 4 Globe: Shakespeare and Climate Emergency symposium, we’ll explore ecological collapse and renewal in Shakespeare’s texts; map out ways in which theatres can achieve sustainable and ethical futures; and reflect on the capacity of live events to change audience behaviour.

Join us, leading ecocritical scholars, theatre companies, sustainability consultants and the next generation of early career scholars, as we take our first steps as part of the climate-conscious fight-back.

Give the gift of theatre

Just because it’s Shakespeare’s Birthday, doesn’t mean you can’t treat thyself (or a loved one!) with a cheeky gift too. After all, why should Bill get all the presents?

Tickets are now on sale for our Summer 2021 season, with A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Romeo & Juliet, and Twelfth Night on offer. Or, if you can’t decide, you can always buy a gift voucher, for any value, to redeem at a later date.

A orange dawn sky above the interior of the Globe Theatre with the words summer 2021

Treat thyself with tickets to our Summer 2021 season, opening on 19 May.

A rubber duck dressed as Shakespeare wears a red party hat and blows out a lit candle on a cupcake, with a TikTok speech bubble above his head.

Wish a #HappyBirthdayShakespeare on social media, and see what Quackspeare’s been getting up to on TikTok!

Stay social

Join the party on social media and wish a #HappyBirthdayShakespeare to the big man. We’re on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram as @The_Globe and always love to hear from you. Recite your favourite speech, send us a sonnet, or just pop by and say hello!

What’s more, we’ve also recently joined TikTok! See what delights Bill Quackspeare and his friends are getting up to for his birthday…

Let’s get quizzical

In honour of the birthday boy himself, we’ve created THE QUIZ of all quizzes. Think you know the Bard of Avon? Put your knowledge to the test and let us know how you score. There are no prizes for top marks, just the knowledge that you are a super-speare-fan. Well done.

 Watch some of the greatest stories ever written

We couldn’t think of a better way to celebrate Shakespeare’s Birthday than to be transported to the Globe Theatre to watch his incredible plays on our stages, with our video-on-demand service, Globe Player.

Settle down on the sofa this evening with your household or sync a viewing with friends across the world, for powerful sorcery with Roger Allam and Colin Morgan in The Tempest, a riotous festival with Emma Rice’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, or political intrigue with Michelle Terry as Hamlet.

Play on the big screen in your living room and stand for the entire performance, and you’ve (kind of) recreated the experience of being a Groundling!

A wide photo of an outdoor stage at night with large lilac balloons decorating the top of the stage

Watch previous Globe productions from the comfort of your sofa with Globe Player, like A Midsummer Night’s Dream (2016). Photographer: Steve Tanner

And most importantly, eat cake

Unlike Malvolio, we’re not party poopers, and there’ll be plenty of cakes and ale at our virtual party. Raise a glass to Shakespeare, and enjoy a nice slab of cake too. Let’s face it, we’ve all deserved it after the past year…

Happy Birthday, boss. We couldn’t do it without you. ❤

A cake of the Globe Theatre.

Eat lots, and lots, and lots, (and did we say, lots?) of cake. Photographer: Charlotte Horobin