‘Play’ with your food? We do…when we add Shakespeare to your dinner!

If you’re staying in Stratford-upon-Avon, or near by, can you ignore that this is the home of the world’s most famous author?

To be completely honest, this can be a quite a dilemma.  Not many clients have the luxury of a 3 1/2 hour window in their programme to experience a play.  And watching a performance is quite a passive activity, especially when you’re trying to maximise every minute of your event.  You are limited to the interval for conversation.  And let’s not ignore the elephant in the room – some of us just aren’t fans.  Shakespeare isn’t exactly ‘easy listening’.  So how can you inject just the right amount of the ‘Bard’ into your event?

Over the last eight years, we’ve created a number of different ways to add a ‘taste’ of Shakespeare to your lunch, drinks’ reception or dinner…

Some clients go for one option.  As they just want to have a ‘nod’ to the heritage of the area – others like to really celebrate.

Let’s face it, love his work or hate his work, you have to admire the man.  What a legacy!  He died over 400 years ago, yet he is still be such a big influence in the world.  Is there anyone alive today who will still be known in 400 years time?  It’s quite a feat.

The lovely incentive group pictured here, from the USA, decided they wanted go all out and have their own Shakespearience  And boy, did they love their evening!

William Shakespeare and Anne Hathaway can meet, greet and/or guest star at your dinner!

Our William and Anne are not only fabulous lookie-likeies but they are actie-likies too! So your guests can question William about getting Anne pregnant before they were married (!); find out what day-to-day life was like in Stratford upon Avon over 400 years ago –  or just have a selfie with the Bard and his wife to post all over social media!

In full costume, they’ll add charm and charisma to a Drinks’ Reception.  And if your group are dining together for a few nights, we’d highly recommend inviting William and Anne to be special guests at your dinner.  This can really up the dynamics of the night; they’re great storytellers and you and your guests will be totally enchanted.

Shakespeare waitresses: like singing waitresses – but acting ones!

Surprise.  Those waitresses aren’t real waitresses.

Between main course and dessert a couple of ‘waitresses’ start to bicker.   This quickly escalates into a full blown argument.  Shakespeare loved a dramatic insult.  And as the waitresses start throwing these at one another,  guests soon realise that this is an act:  just for them!

Rather than listening to every word of one play – a montage of familiar scenes from different plays is just the ticket!  Our waitresses move around the room, they grab pre-hidden lines and get the more outgoing of your group joining in.  Blending comedy, high drama and performing lines that get the hairs standing up on the back of your neck – this is a great way to add some unique entertainment to your meal.  Perfectly timed – to recharge the energy in the room.

When you’re adding Shakespeare to dinner, ‘The Old Library’ really is the perfect setting…

When you dine in an Old Library we really want your guests to dine IN it.  So, the centre of the table is set with piles of books, some open, some with an abandoned pair of spectacles; jars of quills and ink; seasonal plants wrapped in maps and newspapers, tied with twine; individual library borrowing cards for the menu (one card per course); props from plays like a silver skull from Hamlet – all twinkling in the flickering candle light.

And this is where we add a few more surprises and we weave your company into the room.  The event pictured here was for a large international flooring company, Mannington Mills.  We sent off for floor samples from them and used these as mats, placing them under some of the plants on the table.  We looked into the history of the company and dotted framed black and white photos of their founder and their first factory throughout the table.  These are things that are noticed gradually – after the initial ‘wow’ and guests absolutely love these little personalised touches!

And finally, we’re on a bit of campaign to cut down on the waste at our events.  Working towards zero waste.  So, we thought we’d take the opportunity to show you how we’re doing it…

For this dinner, we made a donation to borrow heaps of vintage books from our local charity bookshop.  We have a store of curios and collectables that provide a truly genuine look and feel to our table – nothing plastic here, and all re-used.  And rather than using cut flowers we had seasonal flowering plants on the table.  After the event, all the plants were given to Shakespeare Hospice and the maps and newspaper wraps were recycled.  No landfill.  And we got to help the local community too.  Everyone wins!