LIVING statues from across the globe will face stiff competition at this year’s Shakespeare’s birthday celebrations.
A waiting list has been created following a surge of applications for the National Living Statue Championships from street artists worldwide.
Some 20 living statue artists from Denmark, Spain, Portugal, Greece, Holland, the Ukraine and from across the UK will be travelling to the town for the contest in Bancroft Gardens on April 27 and 28.
Event company LSD Promotions will stage the championship, on behalf of the town and district councils, for the second successive year.
Director Dermot McGillicuddy said: “We have been completely blown away by the amount of applications for this year’s competition following the popularity of the inaugural championship last year.
“There’s such a range of people competing this year, one as young as seven with the oldest competitor being 65 and we also have the only living statue to exist in Denmark is set to join us too.
“Only the best of the best will get through, in total we have had three times as many applicants than we can actually accommodate, so it will be a very tough process to narrow it down to the final competitors.
“Around eight artists who performed last year will be returning as completely new characters, so they will now be entirely unrecognisable!
“We know that the competition will be fierce and we are confident that there will be a real treat in store for the hundreds of people who flock to Stratford for Shakespeare’s Celebrations.”
Last year’s winners included ‘Mechanical Fracture’ Matt Walters from Sussex who will be returning to defend his title, and the junior prize was won by 15-year-old ‘Ye Olde Bench’ Wouter Spijk from Holland.
This year the public will be able to vote for their favourite contender via a new app. The winners will be announced at 4pm on the Sunday at the Bancroft Basin.
And alongside their performances at the celebrations, some of the statues will be taking part in a ‘Statues by night’ event on Friday April 26 at 8pm.
Other attractions include the traditional birthday parade and flag unfurling ceremony as well as craft markets, a food court, workshops and street entertainment.
Visit www.shakespearescelebrations.com for more information.