23 April 2014 marked the 450th anniversary of Shakespeare’s birth. The V&A celebrated the birthday of the world’s most famous playwright with a range of special events and activities across the Museum. Highlights included a display in the Theatre and Performance Galleries, a Shakespeare Trail across the Museum, a book celebrating Shakespeare-related objects in the Museum’s collections, and a special Shakespeare Festival which ran from 21 April – 4 May 2014.
In the late 16th century all classes of society (apart from royalty) visited the public theatres. The new theatres were popular and their audiences had a voracious appetite for new plays. New companies flourished and writers were employed to satisfy the demand for novelty.