William Shakespeare's 450th birthday: Planned celebrations of death will be Britain's 'next Olympic moment'


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The Independent Online

The life and work of William Shakespeare will be celebrated in a series of events taking place in 110 countries next year on the 400th anniversary of the writer’s death.

The British Council is finalising plans for the programme, which has been billed as Britain's "next Olympic moment". The programme includes funding for touring theatre productions and an international Shakespeare festival.  The council is also promising a "new mass-participation global digital project".

The announcement has been timed to coincide with what would have been Shakespeare's 450th birthday. Sir Martin Davidson, Chief Executive of the British Council, said: "Shakespeare provides an important connection to the UK for millions of people around the world, and the world will be looking to celebrate this anniversary."

Graham Sheffield, the Council's Director of Arts, said: "We're developing plans for an ambitious programme. We'll explore how the work of one English writer travelled the world, inspired artists in every medium."