Alongside celebrations in Stratford, there was a special event in New York to mark the playwright's birthday on 23 April.

The birthday weekend began in Stratford-upon-Avon with the Artistic Director's Dinner on Friday, to say thank you to supporters, governors and creatives involved with our work over the past year. The theme was costume making, in support of our Stitch In Time campaign, and the evening was hosted by our Artistic Director Gregory Doran at The Other Place.

There were family activities around Stratford on Saturday, including craft and design workshops at The Other Place, the Birthday Parade through the town centre, and free entry to our The Play's The Thing exhibition. Artist Jasmine Thompson, creator of the Love as a Revolution mural in the PACCAR Room, drew caricatures and helped young people create their own artworks.

The day in Stratford ended with the first performance of our new Romeo and Juliet, directed by Erica Whyman and featuring Bally Gill and Karen Fishwick in the title roles.

The celebrations moved across the Atlantic on Monday, with the Shakespeare Birthday Gala at the New York Public Library. King Lear actor Antony Sher was guest of honour and gave a talk with Shakespeare scholar Professor James Shapiro.

Antony is currently playing the title role in King Lear at BAM in New York, and Hamlet opens in Washington in May. Proceeds from the event will go towards securing future tours to the US.