Key figure in Shakespeare story remembered with King's Lynn plaque
A key figure in the story of Shakespeare’s connections to Lynn is to be honoured in the town of his birth next week.
A new plaque will be unveiled at the site where the Bard’s leading coming actor, Robert Armin, was born in the High Street in 1565.
The event is set to be part of an online celebration of Shakespeare’s birthday and St George’s Day organised by the Shakespeare’s Guildhall Trust (SGT), which is campaigning for the renovation of the historic St George’s Guildhall.
The plaque commemorating Armin will be sited at 78 High Street, which stands on the site of what is now known to be his birthplace following recent research.
SGT chairman Ivor Rowlands said: “Armin has been so little-known in Lynn that we’ve called him ‘the clown the town forgot’.
“Now, thanks to developing awareness of the Guildhall as being the only theatre in the world that can claim Shakespeare performed there, we can use this to help us create a sustainable performance, arts and cultural venue for the benefit and use of the whole community.”
Local comedian Jenny Beake will portray Armin in a video which the trust says has been filmed at locations including the Guildhall and is due to be released online next Friday, April 23.
The SGT says the video will include a number of guest appearances and contributions from across the country.
The group revived the tradition of a St George’s Day dragon procession in Lynn two years ago, but is still unable to have a live event because of the continuing coronavirus restrictions.
Mr Rowlands said: “We were determined to try to find a way of celebrating this really special day in the calendar – St George’s Day and Shakespeare’s birthday.
“It was clear that we would be unable to have a live event, so we have pulled out all the stops to produce an online spectacular.”
And, following the publication of the SGT’s Vision for the site earlier this year, Mr Rowlands said the group expects interest in the complex to grow even further as Covid restrictions are increasingly relaxed.
He said: “The eyes of Shakespearean scholarship and theatre history are on King’s Lynn at present.”
SGT trustee Colin Clifton, who organised the project, thanked borough mayor Geoff Hipperson, town historian Dr Paul Richards, comedian and trust supporter Stephen Fry and the Norwich Whifflers for their support.
The video will be available on the SGT's YouTube channel from next Friday.