Shakespeare Birthday Luncheon 2020

For the first time, Pragnell is delighted to have the honour of organising this year’s Shakespeare Birthday Luncheon, to be held on Saturday 25 April, 2020. Pragnell is a long-standing supporter 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. 

Taking place after the birthday parade and continuing the celebratory theme, this year’s luncheon promises to be bigger and better than ever.

We are marking a new decade with a fresh approach to a traditional format introducing some musical performances and a variety of theatrical entertainment for our guests.

Hosted by actor and presenter Alexander Armstrong, the luncheon will feature live music from the National Youth Jazz Orchestra and the London Youth Chamber Choir, along with a plethora of special guests and experiences.

Attendees will enjoy a three-course luncheon, Fortnum & Mason wine, Laurent Perrier champagne, and the presentation of the annual Pragnell Shakespeare Birthday Award.

The Pragnell Shakespeare Birthday Award celebrates individuals who have significantly furthered society’s understanding, appreciation and enjoyment of the Bard’s work. First introduced in 1990, the illustrious roster of winners includes Sir Ian McKellan, Dame Judi Dench and Sir Kenneth Branagh. This year, the award will be presented to Juliet Stevenson CBE, whose stage career began at the Royal Shakespeare Company in 1978. 

Over the last four decades, Juliet has portrayed many Shakespearean heroines, including Titania (A Midsummer Night’s Dream), Cressida (Troilus and Cressida) and Rosalind (As You Like it), a role that saw her nominated for an Olivier Award. Juliet will receive the Pragnell Shakespeare Birthday Award during the luncheon, along with a decorative silver scroll and a medallion handcrafted in Pragnell’s workshop.

“The luncheon is a highlight of Stratford-upon-Avon’s annual Shakespeare Birthday Celebrations, and we are delighted to have the honour of organising it,” says Charlie Pragnell.

“Shakespearean understanding is a cornerstone of contemporary culture and the luncheon, like the Pragnell Shakespeare Birthday Award, is a way to celebrate his legacy. We wish to throw a fun, theatrical Birthday party for The Bard and to give a first-class welcome to visiting representatives from the Ambassadorial international community, to the benefit of the town and the Shakespearean community, and to showcase some of the wonderful heritage, culture and style of Great Britain.”

Tickets to the luncheon are limited and start at £100 per person or £1,000 for a table of 10 which includes a Laurent Perrier champagne reception, a three-course luncheon with Fortnum & Mason wine, music, entertainment and plenty of style.

The dress code is ‘formal and decorative without restraint.’

Tickets are available via the RSC Box Office from 31 January. 

Further table and ticket information can be found here:

Should you require any assistance, please email: