5 December 2017, 7.30pm: Charity screening of Guildford Shakespeare Company’s Bard Walk film, charting Shakespeare’s 146-mile journey from Stratford-upon-Avon to Shakespeare’s Globe in London.
Last year, during the 400th Anniversary of William Shakespeare’s death, between 13- 21 August, Guildford Shakespeare Company Co-Founder Matt Pinches embarked on an expedition that would see him realise a long-held ambition to walk the journey Shakespeare once took from his home town Stratford-upon-Avon, to his place of work, London’s Bankside.
The Shakespeare Way is a 146-mile route that was mapped by the Shakespeare Way Association in 2006 and takes the walker on the closest possible route that the playwright may have taken. The route took Matt from Stratford, through the Cotswold Hills past Blenheim Palace to Oxford. From there it dipped down into the Thames Valley before joining the River Thames at Kew.
“It was an incredible nine days. The founders of The Shakespeare Way subtitled it ‘a journey of imagination’, and it certainly was. The walk has made a difference to how I view Shakespeare, his work and family. I always thought that working 146 miles away from your family must have been difficult, but the biggest impact on me was realising how little you could communicate with them. There was no form of regular contact. The likely fact that he didn’t even know about his son’s death for sometime is a sobering thought, but one now that I can appreciate much more.”
During the walk Matt was given exclusive access to film in both the Shakespeare Birthplace and The Painted Room in Oxford – reputedly a room where Shakespeare stayed overnight en route, which is not open to the public. The film also discusses the trials facing travellers in the Elizabethan period and the rise of the playhouses.
The Bard Walk was a fund-raising event in GSC’s 10th Anniversary Year for their New Beginnings Campaign to establish a long-term home for the theatre company, contributing over £16,000 to the campaign’s total of £51,500.
Tickets cost £10 and include an introductory talk from Matt and Q&A. All profits from the event go to the New Beginnings Campaign. Licensed bar onsite. Book online guildford-shakespeare-company.co.uk (01483 304384).
VENUE: St Mary’s Church, Quarry Street, Guildford, GU1 3UA. Starts 7.30pm; doors open 7pm