Happy Birthday Shakespeare


Today is the anniversary of what would have been William Shakespeare's 448th birthday, strangely it's also the anniversary of his death, 396 years ago.
Shakespeare has been responsible for some of David Tennant's finest performances, not only on stage, but in audio plays and on film too.
David made his Shakspeare debut with the Royal Shakespeare Company back in 1996 when he appeared in As You Like It as Touchstone.


A run in King Lear, as Edgar, followed at the Royal Exchange in Manchester in 1999 as well as a reading of Edward III at Shakespeare's Globe.
In 2000 David returned to the Royal Shakespeare Company to play the title role of Romeo in Romeo and Juliet and  Antipholus of Syracuse in The Comedy Of Errors.
2001 saw a one night only performance as Lysander / Flute in A Midsummer Night's Dream at the Barbican.
In 2008 David made his highly anticipated return to the stage with his critically acclaimed run of Hamlet in Stratford Upon Avon and London. The Guardian heralded him as the finest Hamlet of his generation. The same year David also appeared as Berowne in Love's Labour's Lost.
In the summer of 2011 David took to the stage to perform the Bard's words once more joining forces with Catherine Tate to bring Much Ado About Nothing to a sold out West End audience.


And it's not just on stage that David has tackled Shakespeare, he's played roles in many audio plays. Most recently taking on the parts of Malvolio in Twefth Night and Prince Escalus in Romeo and Juliet for BBC Radio 3 as part of their Shakespeare and Love season.
His audio credits include Macbeth, The Comedy Of Errors, King Lear, Romeo and Juliet, Henry VI Part I,II and III, The Merchant Of Venice and Richard III for Arkangel and an early take on his Benedick in Much Ado About Nothing for BBC Radio 4.
And his role as Hamlet was so well recieved that it was made into a feature film and televised on BBC Two at Christmas in 2009.

A brief history of Shakespeare's Life:
William Shakespeare (1564 - 1616) was born at Stratford-upon-Avon in a house in Henley Street. This is preserved intact. His mother, Mary Arden, was one of the daughters of Robert Arden, a yeoman farmer of Wilmcote: his father, John Shakespeare, was a glover and wool dealer of good standing who held the office of Bailiff of the Borough in 1568.

From the age of seven to about 14, he attended Stratford Grammar School receiving an excellent well rounded education. At the age of 18 he married Anne Hathaway, who was seven years his senior and three months pregnant. She was of 'yeoman' stock - her family owned a farm one mile west of Stratford in Shottery. He endured her until he could stand it no longer and fled to London to become an actor. He then became actor-manager and part-owner in the Blackfriars and afterwards the Globe Theatres. He was a first-rate actor, but it is as a writer of plays that he has achieved lasting world-wide fame. His plays are thought to be the finest ever written in any language.
 
His 37 plays vary in type; historical romances, light, fantastic comedies, some are tragedies, all including the comical and the farcical. He was a shrewd business man, amassing quite a fortune in his time. He returned to Stratford for his latter years where he died at the age of 52 and now lies at rest in his special grave at Holy Trinity Church.



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