THE GUILD Chapel plays host to painting, poetry, and song over the coming week.
With conservation work on the chapel’s precious medieval wall paintings due to start in October – a series of events have been planned in the run-up.
Displays charting the history of the building, which dates back to 1269, are now in place and visitors can also learn about the chapel’s long associations with the Shakespeare family and the significance of its incredible, rare medieval wall paintings – some of the finest surviving in Europe.
These paintings are the focus of ‘Death Reawakened’ – a major conservation project backed by a £100,000 Heritage Lottery Fund grant, with work starting next month.
Before that, Birmingham’s first poet laureate Brian Lewis and Active Arts and the Bus Pass People from York will be taking part in Shakespeare: A Gift to the World on Sunday (September 18) – an afternoon of poetry, song, art and discussion, all inspired by the Bard. They will be performing at the free event between 1.30pm and 3pm.
The group will also be performing at the Dirty Duck and at Stratford ArtsHouse over the weekend.
Two days later Brian will return to the chapel to spend the day drawing between 10am and 4pm, drawing original Shakespeare-themed works. Brian will be selling his works – with a donation going to the chapel.
And on September 24 the chapel will be alive with music once again when a concert is given the Lachrimae Consort.
‘Celebrating Shakespeare’ – which starts at 7.30pm – will feature music and song from the time of the Bard, together with extracts from his plays.
It is raising funds for the Friends of the Guild Chapel – formed in 1954 to drive forward a complete overhaul and continuing maintenance of the exterior fabric of the chapel. The Friends are planning more events in the coming months.
The chapel is open daily and entry is free.