Press release -

Going Bonkers for the Bard

Rochdale Borough Libraries will be going bonkers for the Bard during activities to celebrate Shakespeare Week.

In honour of the 450th anniversary of the birth of the Bard, Shakespeare Week, from 17 to 23 March, is a new annual celebration to bring the great playwright, his works and legacy to life vividly, especially for primary school children and their families.

Councillor Peter Williams said: “This week of celebration will give residents of the borough the chance to be inspired by Shakespeare’s stories, language, heritage and creative influence.”

From Monday 17 March to Saturday 22 March, a selection of costumes will be on display at Rochdale Central Library, on loan from Manchester’s Royal Exchange Theatre. The costumes, from a traditional production of Romeo and Juliet, will include the key characters of Friar Laurence, Romeo, Tybalt, Nurse, Lady Capulet and Juliet.

On Monday 17 March, from 5:30-6:30pm, in the children’s area at Rochdale Central Library, there will be a performance of Much Ado About Nothing - Stories Alive by dynamic, engaging and charismatic storyteller, Eden Ballantyne, which is free and suitable for primary age children. In the retelling, Claudio and Hero fall in love and plan to get married, but someone tries to come between them and their happiness. Find out what happens next at the interactive storytelling session (booking not required).

Big Foot Theatre will be hosting Shakespeare Ain’t That Bard, a ‘play in a day’ schools’ workshop, at the Rochdale Pioneers Museum on Wednesday, 19 March. Four groups of 30 specially invited schoolchildren will join Sir Bardwell for this 45-minute interactive workshop, as he works with students to battle with contemporary hip hop beats and modern day interpretations of Shakespearean text in order to stage some of the Bard’s work in a refreshingly exciting new way.

Finally, on Friday 21 March, for over 15s only, the Manchester Shakespeare Company will be performing Desperate Measures, a darkly comic tale of power and lust set among the streets of the future fictional city of Mancia, which is adapted from Shakespeare’s Measure For Measure by John Topliff and Hannah Ellis and directed by Gina T Frost and Matt Cawson. For further information visit Taking place in the Hollingworth Suite of Number One Riverside, tickets costing £10, or £9 for concessions, are available through Rochdale Borough Libraries events’ page at and clicking on Shakespeare Week then the Book Tickets link.

For more information about Shakespeare Week nationally visit


  • Events


  • bard
  • romeo and juliet
  • measure for measure
  • shakespeare
  • shakespeare week
  • shakespeare retold week
  • rochdale borough libraries
  • pennines
  • middleton
  • heywood
  • rochdale
  • rochdale council


  • Greater Manchester


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