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Happy Birthday, Mr Shakespeare.

About this time 459 years ago a bright little chap called William was born. Since then he has provided me and many of my friends, colleagues, acquaintances, enemies, partners, and pets with a constant stream of work, entertainment, and discussion. He has been a pain in the backside of English students of all ages as well as a source of beauty and fun for those of us who know what he's on about. Over the past four-and-a-bit centuries he has been outed, accused of plagiarism, drug use, adultery, espionage, and even murder. We've seen him portrayed as a sex symbol, a pervert, a womaniser, and a master criminal. He remains one of the most famous people ever to have been born. Long after the influencers of the day have faded into obscurity, their ‘likes’, ‘retweets’, ‘views’ and ‘verified statuses’ are rotting on the digital scrap heap, Shakespeare will be influencing millions across the globe with nary a social media account to his name…well not a verified one.

So today let us give thanks;

1. Actors

Say what you like about some of his stuff, but when he wanted to, he wrote superb parts for both men and women and has kept a lot of us in work. And now that gender has nothing to do with the casting we're all able to join in the fun! Hurrah!

2. Directors

We all know that great theatre starts with a great play. He gave us some corkers that have made us look fabulous and turned mediocre ideas into groundbreaking smash-hits.

3. Producers

Don't complain about doing Shakespeare...ever! Whack David Tennant or Maxine Peake in a show and watch it sell out! You don't even have to pay royalties on the Box Office. Sex might sell, but Shakespeare sells better.

4. Designers

Just imagine what fun he would have had if he'd got you lot, flying set, creating UV sequences, costumes made of tin cans, hydraulic lifts, spotlights, and all the other wonderful things you guys do... It's a shame he never met you. He'd have thought you were awesome.