Shakespeare Birthday Lunch

On Saturday 23rd April, after three years, the Shakespeare Birthday Lunch returned to Stratford-upon-Avon with an array of guests to celebrate William Shakespeare’s 458th Birthday.

An introduction to The Shakespeare Birthday Lunch, that took place on Saturday April 23rd in Stratford-upon-Avon, from His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales, President of The Royal Shakespeare Company.

The Pragnell family were delighted to have the honour of organising this year’s event at the RSC Avon Bank Gardens, overlooking the River Avon. We are long-standing supporters of the RSC, the theatre, and Stratford-upon-Avon’s annual Shakespeare Birthday Celebrations; a tradition that dates back over 200 years. Over the course of the Bard’s birthday weekend, performers, artists and ambassadors from all over the world come together to celebrate the life and works of history’s greatest playwright.

Hosted by actor and presenter Alexander Armstrong, attendees enjoyed a three-course luncheon, accompanied by fine wine. Highlights from the day’s proceedings included:

Grace was announced by the Reverend Patrick Taylor, Vicar of Stratford-upon-Avon.

The Loyal Toast was announced by The Lord Lieutenant of Warwickshire, Tim Cox.

The Immortal memory of William Shakespeare was presented by Dame Judi Dench.

The Pragnell Shakespeare Birthday Award was presented by Professor Michael Dobson, the Director of the Shakespeare Institute, to the 2022 award winner, actor, director and writer Adrian Lester CBE.

The actor and producer Michael Dapaah performed an exclusive spoken word piece including a toast to the worldwide legacy of William Shakespeare.

The RSC performed an extract from Much Ado About Nothing, starring Akiya Henry and Luke Wilson.

The lunch for 520 guests was attended by Dame Judi Dench, Stephen Fry, Dame Joanna Lumley, Dame Maureen Lipman, Howard Jakobson, Kathy Lette, The Rt Hon Nadhim Zahawi MP, the Pragnell Shakespeare Birthday Award winner Adrian Lester CBE and wife Lolita Chakrabarti OBE.

The Shakespeare Birthday Lunch also welcomed guests from the Ambassadorial community to Great Britain.

A selection of highlights and photographs from Shakespeare’s 458th Birthday Lunch, image credit Getty @davebenett

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