Bristol Shakespeare Festival

644. Suzanne Booth (Bristol)

Suzanne Booth is the Artistic Director of the Bristol Shakespeare Festival.

In the 400th anniversary year of Shakespeare’s death the festival has drawn in 4000 people to attend shows and workshops to celebrate the Bard’s work. Including both traditional and experimental performances, the festival aims to make their shows accessible for all demographics in Bristol and reaches out to different areas each year.

Suzanne’s 30 volunteers run workshops for children and hold open forum discussions, in conjunction with touring theatre companies and partnership organisations, enabling the festival to bring Shakespeare to those who wouldn’t normally experience it.

In a personal letter to Suzanne, Prime Minister Theresa May said:

“As we come to the end of the year marking the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death it is of utmost importance we continue to share his writing. Your efforts are helping everyone young and old to access and enjoy his works.”

Suzanne said:

“I’m overwhelmed to be receiving the Point of Light award for my work with the Bristol Shakespeare Festival. The organisation is run entirely by outstanding volunteers who give their time, passion and creativity each year; without them the festival would not be such a pleasure to run, and so I’d like to share this accolade with them.

The Bristol Shakespeare Festival’s aim is to bring Shakespeare’s work to iconic and unusual locations in Bristol, particularly spaces which might not otherwise experience the arts. We work to make our programme accessible and span multiple demographics, reaching as many people as possible with the Bard’s work. The festival has grown remarkably over the past five years, with thanks also due to the talented touring theatre companies, workshop providers, and the growing partnerships with other local arts organisations.

I hope this award encourages others to join volunteer organisations, particularly in the arts – the time and effort put in is truly worth it when you see the impact your project has on audiences and the wider community.”

The daily Points of Light award recognises outstanding individual volunteers - people who are making a change in their community.

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