The grand opening of Shakespeare’s New Place, scheduled for July 1st, has been put back several weeks by the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust after torrential rain halted groundworks at the Stratford-upon-Avon site.
With groundworks unfinished, organisers have been unable to finish the installation of a new garden on the footprint of William Shakespeare’s birthplace and family home as well as experiencing delays to the planned extension of the exhibition centre.
A revised launch date is expected to be released shortly as Shakespeare aficionados stow their thumbed copies of Hamlet and The Merchant of Venice for another – hopefully sunnier – day.
When contractors get the go ahead and Shakespeare’s New Place finally opens its doors, fans will be not be disappointed however. Led by the vision of the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, the project aims to reconstruct the building blocks of the playwright’s life and home after it was demolished centuries ago. That said, organisers have insisted that the project was never to rebuild the Stratford-upon-Avon property but to provide a retelling of Shakespeare’s home based on readings of his work, diaries and histories local to the town.
Indeed, Dr Diana Owen, CEO of the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust described the building of Shakespeare’s New Place as a “ground-breaking project to re-imagine Shakespeare’s New Place for the 21st Century”.
Shakespeare’s New Place will stand on the very same ground at which the iconic writer, himself, took his first steps and will replace the tended garden which has been preserved untouched in his honour. Visitors will be invited to indulge in the literary and personal history of Shakespeare with a number of commissioned artworks being hung on the walls of the property’s interior. In addition, a new exhibition dedicated to his life and works will be showcased adjacent to Shakespeare’s New Place at the Grade I-listed, Tudor Nash’s House.
Diana Owen added that everyone was “pulling out all the stops” to get the project finished and open to public.