SALISBURY Playhouse is celebrating William Shakespeare’s 450th birthday on Wednesday with Happy Birthday Shakespeare!, a special collection of performances in the Playhouse Rehearsal Room.

A selection of scenes, sonnets, soliloquies and songs will be performed to celebrate the nation’s favourite playwright, presented by members of Salisbury Playhouse’s community groups and local musicians and performers.

A free afternoon event will include performances from Winterbourne Opera, Mind the Gap and students from the Playhouse and Wiltshire College’s BTEC acting course. They will be joined in the evening by Salisbury Playhouse’s Stage ’65 Youth Theatre with Potted Pericles and Musical Theatre Salisbury with a selection of songs from Kiss Me Kate.

Playhouse associate director Mark Powell said: “It’s great that members of the wider community have volunteered to take the lead roles in celebrating Shakespeare’s special day.

This will be a varied and relaxed entertainment for anyone to enjoy.”

* Happy Birthday Shakespeare! takes place on Wednesday, April 23 at 2pm and 7pm. Call 01722 320333 for tickets. The afternoon event is free while tickets for the evening performance cost £5, to include birthday cake.