The Birthday Lunch

The Birthday Lunch is a traditional part of the annual Shakespeare birthday celebrations.

The Shakespeare Birthday Lunch will be held this year on Saturday, 27 April, once again at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Stratford-upon-Avon.  It will start with a sparkling wine reception at 12.30pm, with lunch being served from 1.00pm.  There will be the customary speeches and toasts and the presentation of the Pragnell Award.  This year’s after lunch speakers will include Erica Whyman of the RSC, Tim Cooke of the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust and the arts journalist and broadcaster Paul Allen.

As in previous years, there will be boat transfers from Holy Trinity Church to the hotel.  The boats, organised by Fiona Rae of Bancroft Cruisers, will start to leave from the Dell at about 11.50am to enable those guests who have been in the parade to travel to the hotel on the river, arriving in time for the reception.

The tickets, which are non-refundable, will be sold by the Royal Shakespeare Company, and will go on sale on 22 February 10.00am.  They will be priced at £49 for a combined lunch and boat transfer ticket and at £43 for a lunch ticket.  Tables will be for 10 guests.  This year, in addition to being able to buy tickets in person at the box office or by phone, it will also be possible to book online through the RSC website from the outset.  The link for online sales is:

Tickets that are not collected personally from the RSC box office will be posted nearer the date and all buyers will be contacted in March to confirm seating requests, the menu and special dietary requirements where relevant.

The Shakespeare Birthday Celebrations website has a page for the Shakespeare Birthday Lunch.  This will be updated as and when new information about the Lunch becomes available so, if you plan to attend, please keep an eye on this page:

If you have queries, please feel free to contact the organisers Alan and Ros Haigh at