Happy (459th) Birthday Shakespeare!

  It’s the big man’s birthday! Here are (some of ) the 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 459 today, so wherever you are in the world, join us for our (digital) party. Here are seven ways you can celebrate…

A red background with an image of Shakespeare, wearing a party hat. Text reads: Happy Birthday Shakey!

‘It is my (459th) birth-day’ — Antony and Cleopatra, Act III, scene 13.

The legs of a man in Elizabethan dress appear sticking out from a hole in an orange floor, with a blue backdrop with clouds above. Text in white letters reads: Summer 2023. Step into the story.

Treat thyself with tickets to our upcoming Summer 2023 season.

Give the gift of theatre

Just because it’s Shakespeare’s Birthday, doesn’t mean you can’t treat yourself (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 2023 season, with A Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Comedy of Errors, As You Like It and Macbeth on offer. If you can’t decide, you can always buy a gift voucher, for any value, to redeem at a later date.

Or why not treat thyself to something from our Globe Shop?

For this weekend only, get 23% off items from our Shakespeare’s Birthday collection using code BARDBIRTHDAY23.*

*Only available on online purchases of items from the Shakespeare’s Birthday collection until 8.00am BST on Monday 24 April.

Get 23% off items in our Globe Shop this weekend.

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. Photographer: Pete Le May

 Explore the Globe Theatre

Step through our great oak doors into the Globe Theatre for our Shakespeare’s Globe Story & Tour 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.

For younger Shakespeare fans, our Family Guided Tours are the perfect way to explore our building and its rich history. Our Pride Guided Tours offer a unique insight into an important era in LGBTQ+ history while those interested in something a little spookier will enjoy our Ghosts & Ghouls Family Tour.

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!

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!

Two men lean their foreheads against each other's, smiling.

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

 Watch some of the greatest stories ever written

What better way to celebrate Shakespeare’s Birthday than to watch (or re-watch) his plays 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 an Elizabethan romantic comedy in The Taming of the Shrew, with Samantha Spiro as Katherine, a Roman political thriller in Julius Caesar, with Luke Thompson as Mark Antony, or a riotous festival with Emma Rice’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, with Ncuti Gatwa as Demetrius.

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!

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