Grant awarded for Swan Wing

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We're delighted that the Heritage Lottery Fund has awarded us a grant of £2.8m to restore the beautiful Grade II* listed Swan Wing.

Alongside restoration of the building's key listed features, it also means that we can open up our unrivalled Archive and Collection.  This charts the history of Shakespeare in performance and theatre-making in Stratford over the last 130 years.

It also includes costumes spanning the history of the theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon, paintings dating from the 18th century, sculpture, theatrical props, accessories, memorabilia and scripts, all of which are not currently open to the public.

A new exhibition for all
As part of the project we will also create a new hands-on exhibition. This will give visitors the opportunity to experience the theatre-making process for themselves and the attraction will spread across all of the public spaces in the Swan Wing. It will combine physical objects from our history alongside interactive technology, giving people the opportunity to try their hand as a theatre artist or technician.

The exhibition will be suitable for all ages and include activities for children and families as well as providing resources for students and schools. It will be a fun and exciting way to find out how theatre has been made in Shakespeare's home town over the centuries.

Although no date has been earmarked for the work to begin, our aim is to open the exhibition in time for the anniversary of Shakespeare's death in 2016. For now, we will continue developing our plans and seek the matching funds required to support the project.

Image: Falstaff disguised as Herne discovered at Midnight with Mrs Ford and Mrs Page, The Merry Wives of Windsor, Act V scene 5 by Robert Smirke RA (1752-1845)

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Teaching Shakespeare