Happy (458th) Birthday Shakespeare!

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

3 minute read

How big does a cake need to be to fit over 400 candles? William Shakespeare turns a very respectable 458 today, so wherever you are in the world, join us for our (digital) party. Here are seven ways you can celebrate…

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 (458th) birth-day’ — Antony and Cleopatra, Act III, scene 13.

Join us for the garden party of the summer

Join our riotous garden party with Much Ado About Nothing. Shakespeare’s much loved comedy opened our Summer 2022 season with wild games, pranks and mischievousness aplenty last night and is playing over Shakespeare’s birthday weekend.

Secure your invite to the party of the summer now.

Someone is lying on grass and their legs are poking out from under a silver, shiny curtain and they are surrounded by balloons

Join our outdoor garden party with Much Ado About Nothing, now playing in the Globe Theatre.

Coloured flag bunting waves in the wind outside a white building set against a blue summer sky

Treat thyself with tickets to our upcoming Summer 2022 season.

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 2022 season, with Julius Caesar, King Lear and Henry VIII on offer. Or, if you can’t decide, you can always buy a gift voucher, for any value, to redeem at a later date.

 Explore the Globe Theatre

Step through our great oak doors into the Globe Theatre on one of our Guided Tours 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.

Two parents and two young children walk through the archway into the Yard of the Globe Theatre: pointing up at the painted heavens of the roof above the wooden stage.

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

See what delights Bill Quackspeare and his friends are getting up to for his birthday on TikTok

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 a case of mistaken identity in our recent Twelfth Night, with Michelle Terry as Viola, powerful sorcery with Roger Allam and Colin Morgan in The Tempest, or a riotous festival with Emma Rice’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

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. This one was baked by the incredible Sarah Peachey. Photographer: Charlotte Horobin