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Interactive spectacular to mark Samuel Johnson’s 300th birthday

sjm-faceThe 300th birthday of Lichfield’s most famous son is set to see a never before seen interactive event.

Organised by the Samuel Johnson Birthplace Museum and Lichfield City Council, the Johnson at 300 Son et Lumière on September 18 is free to enjoy and suitable for all ages.

The fun starts at 5.30pm with a lantern making workshop in the Guildroom of the Guildhall (call 01543 264 972 to book your place), followed by a lantern parade from Speakers’ Corner, beside Minster Pool, which anybody can join. Then, as it starts to get dark, the bells of St Mary’s will ring and the faces of the people of Lichfield who went along to collecting days over the summer will be projected from 8pm – so you might just see yourself in lights!

From 8.20pm the story of the Lichfield literary giant will be told through an A-Z of his life, including three performances from the Lichfield Cathedral Chamber Choir and ending with a firework fanfare.

A spokesperson for the event said:

“The Son et Lumière is not only a fantastic spectacle, it’s also a giant interactive artwork and we want you to join in. At the same time as the main show is being projected on the Market Square side of the building, there will be a second projection happening around the corner where we will be creating Lichfield’s very own Dictionary of the English Language. It’s very easy to take part, just come to the tent on Market Street to add your name and favourite word into our computer – then see your word projected onto the side of the Birthplace building!”

The event has been created by three artists – Peter Walker, Andy McKeown and David Harper.

There are no tickets necessary for the event, although the free places on the lantern workshop must be booked. The projections will also continue, without sound, on September 19 as part of a weekend of celebrations in honour of Johnson.

Joanne Wilson, Museums and Heritage Officer for Lichfield City Council, added:

“The Son et Lumière is an exciting and unique project which will mark the 300th anniversary of the birth of Johnson in spectacular style. The Birthplace Museum will be at the centre of the event, and we are looking forward to seeing Lichfield’s Dictionary take shape across the building. This should be an evening which Lichfield will remember for years to come.”

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