TIES between Stratford and China are continuing to grow.
Dignitaries from the city of Fuzhou recently visited the town for the Shakespeare 400 celebrations.
And now delegates from Stratford have returned the favour by making a similar trip to coincide with the commemoration of Tang Xianzu – who also died in 1616.
Stratford District Council chair Susan Adams, leader Chris Saint, deputy leader Stephen Thirlwell, mayor Juliet Short, her consort John Short, KES headmaster Bennet Carr and Philippa Rawlinson from the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust all made the 6,000 mile journey.
They attended a ceremony recognising the joint 400th anniversary of the death of Tang Xianzu, William Shakespeare and Spain’s Miguel de Cervantes.
The trip was also made to consider plans to recreate some of Stratford’s historic buildings in Fuzhou, which is in the country’s Jiangxi Province.
Famous cities like Manhattan and Venice have already been immortalised in China and it is hoped people will be encouraged to visit the Bard’s hometown after seeing the recreation if plans go ahead
Highlights of the trip included meeting the mayor of Fuzhou, visiting the museum of Tang Xianzu and the city’s Grand Theatre and walking along the Great Wall of China.
Part of the trip for Bennet Carr also included visiting one of the country’s top ten schools, the Linchuan No 1 Middle School.
KES recently replaced French lessons with Mandarin as the compulsory language for new pupils, and the visit was made with the hope of setting up an exchange between the two schools.
Bennet said: “The discussions have been very encouraging and I am delighted that they are equally enthusiastic about the possibilities that such a partnership could provide our respective students.”