Artist Vic Lee paints a mural in the Swan Theatre building showing a journey through Stratford-upon-Avon.

The mural travels through our history in Stratford, starting at Shakespeare’s birthplace and ending at Holy Trinity Church, where he is buried. It shows the changing face of our theatres on the banks of the River Avon, from the original Shakespeare Memorial Theatre, destroyed by fire.

To find the new artwork, go through the Swan Theatre entrance to the building and up the stairs. Across the mural are a series of viewfinders which you can look through to see photos of different aspects of our history. They include images of the original Royal Shakespeare Theatre architect Elisabeth Scott at her drawing table, and the writer Marie Corelli floating down the Avon in a gondola. 

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Artist Vic Lee (featured above) is a former graphic designer who now combines graphic design, typography and illustration is large scale projects. He describes his work as “Pure unadulterated delicious illustration - no additives.”

He painted the mural on red, during a single week – it was the first time he had worked on a red background. He painted from original photos showing the individual buildings, and from his own sketches which show how the mural comes together as a whole.

Once you’ve explored the history of Stratford through the mural, why not learn about the history of theatre through our new permanent exhibition The Play’s The Thing?

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