Shakespeare Son et Lumière show at Guildhall celebrates Bard’s legacy

Guildhall’s historic façade will become the canvas for a spectacular son et lumière show to commemorate the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death.

The free light and sound performance will take place in Guildhall Yard on 4 and 5 March, using period music and images from the City of London’s extensive archives, and in collaboration with Guildhall Library and Guildhall School of Music & Drama.

Using video technology, the Dance Porch of the 15th century Guildhall will be illuminated with 3D projection mapping to transform irregularly shaped objects and surfaces to create an extraordinary living display of sound and colour. The show will run from 6.45pm to 8.45pm (on a continuous 20-minute loop) on both days.

Guildhall Art Gallery will be open from 6pm to 9pm – featuring a pop-up bar with a Shakespeare-themed cocktail - to allow visitors to view a property deed for a house in Blackfriars, which has been signed by William Shakespeare. The deed, which is on rare public display, dates from 1613 and features one of only six authenticated signatures in the world. The City of London’s First Folio, widely regarded as one of the finest and most complete copies in existence, will also be on display.

Vivienne Littlechild, Chairman of the City of London Corporation’s Culture, Heritage and Libraries Committee, said:

“William Shakespeare was one of the City’s most famous residents and it is entirely right that the City of London should pull out the stops to mark the 400th anniversary of his death and celebrate his enduring legacy. Guildhall and its Yard will provide an impressive venue and backdrop for the sound and light show, every bit as spectacular as last year’s Magna Carta extravaganza, and I am particularly delighted that people will be able to see our beautiful 1623 First Folio, usually, only brought out to show actors and Shakespeare scholars, and the extremely rare Blackfriars property deed.”

The Shakespeare Son et Lumière forms part of a programme of special events and exhibitions to mark the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death, as well as the Barbican Shakespeare Weekender: Play On (5 and 6 March) and English Tourism Week (5 - 13 March). For full details, please visit

Notes for Editors:

The Shakespeare Son et Lumière will take place in Guildhall Yard, EC2V 5AE, on Friday 4 and Saturday 5 March from 6.45pm to 8.45pm on a 20-minute loop (last show approximately at 8.15pm)

For more details, please contact:

Andrew Buckingham, Media Officer, City of London Corporation

Tel: 020 7332 1452 / Mobile: 07795 333060 / Email

About the City of London Corporation:

The City of London Corporation is a uniquely diverse organisation. It supports and promotes the City as a world leader in international finance and business services and provides local services and policing for those working in, living in, and visiting the Square Mile. It also provides valued services to London and the nation. These include the Barbican Centre, Barbican Music Library, Guildhall School of Music & Drama, Guildhall Library, Guildhall Art Gallery and Roman Amphitheatre, London Metropolitan Archives, a range of education provision (including three City Academies); five Thames bridges (including Tower Bridge and Millennium Bridge), Central Criminal Court at Old Bailey, over 10,000 acres of open spaces (including Hampstead Heath and Epping Forest), and three wholesale food markets. The City of London Corporation is London’s Port Health Authority and also runs the Animal Reception Centre at Heathrow. For more details, visit