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SPECIAL GARDEN MARKS INTERNATIONAL FRIENDSHIP BETWEEN SHAKESPEARE’S HOMETOWN AND STRATFORDS FROM AROUND THE WORLD

The Royal Shakespeare Company is commissioning a special mini-garden with willow sculptures inspired by Shakespeare’s magical play, A Midsummer Night’s Dream which is currently in performance at the RSC. The new garden marks the international friendship between Shakespeare’s hometown of Stratford-upon-Avon and five other Stratford inspired towns and cities from around the world.

The Stratfords of the World Friendship Garden is in honour of the Stratfords of the World – an organisation made-up of Stratford, New Zealand; Stratford, Prince Edward Island, Canada; Stratford Victoria, Australia; Stratford, Ontario, Canada and Stratford, Connecticut; United States.  The garden will celebrate the ongoing relationship as well as reunion, taking place during Shakespeare’s birthday, between Shakespeare’s hometown of Stratford-upon-Avon and Stratfords of the World.

Willow trees and white foxgloves will line the mini-garden to give the moonlit feel of the forest from Shakespeare’s mystical play. Sculptor Emma Stothard, who created and presented a sculpture to HRH Prince Charles of his dog Tigga, will be creating two six foot willow sculptures of comic favourite Bottom and Queen of the fairies Titania.

RSC Events and Exhibitions Manager, Andy Horn, who designed the Stratfords of the World Friendship Garden, said; “What a great way to celebrate the connection and reunion of the six Stratfords from around the world and the influence that Stratford-upon-Avon has on the international stage than with our magical fairy World Friendship Garden. We are delighted to be sowing the seeds for this world wide celebration of Stratford and we look forward to seeing them flourish.”   

The Stratfords of the World Friendship Garden launches on April 21. Stratfords of the World get together every two years in one of the six Stratfords for a cultural exchange. For 2016 the groups will come to Stratford-upon-Avon for a week long reunion which will see around 150 people attend.

Tim Raistrick, Chairman of Stratfords of the World UK, said: “We are delighted to have worked in partnership with the RSC and with the support of a number of private donors in the creation of this very special garden. I know that our friends from all the other Stratfords will enjoy the opening ceremony as part of the packed programme of events during their visit which coincides with the commemoration of the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death.”

Ends

Notes to Editors:
Press release issued: 23 February 2016 

For further information, please contact RSC Press and Communications Officer Nurinder Mantell, nurinder.mantell@rsc.org.uk 01789 412657/ 07920 541729.

Press are invited to a photo call on Thursday, April 21 at 5pm on the Bancroft Terrace.

The Stratfords of the World Friendship Garden will be based on the Bancroft Terrace. 

A Midsummer Night’s Dream: A Play for the Nation is a co-production between the Royal Shakespeare Company and amateur theatre companies across the UK. This is an arrangement developed between the RSC and Equity.

A Midsummer Night’s Dream: A Play for the Nation runs in the Royal Shakespeare Theatre from 17 February to 5 March 2016, returning to Stratford-upon-Avon from 15 June to 16 July 2016. The production also tours to venues across the UK from 16 March to 4 June 2016. To book tickets contact Box Office on 01789 403493. 

The Royal Shakespeare Company creates theatre at its best, made in Stratford-upon-Avon and shared around the world.  We produce an inspirational artistic programme each year, setting Shakespeare in context, alongside the work of his contemporaries and today’s writers. 

Everyone at the RSC - from actors to armourers, musicians to technicians - plays a part in creating the world you see on stage.  All our productions begin life at our Stratford workshops and theatres and we bring them to the widest possible audience through our touring, residencies, live broadcasts and online activity. So wherever you experience the RSC, you experience work made in Shakespeare’s home town. 

We have trained generations of the very best theatre makers and we continue to nurture the talent of the future. We encourage everyone to enjoy a lifelong relationship with Shakespeare and live theatre.  We reach 530,000 children and young people annually through our education work, transforming their experiences in the classroom, in performance and online.  Registered charity no. 212481 www.rsc.org.uk.

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