A charity which promotes the works of William Shakespeare is protesting against a controversial film that challenges his literary heritage.
Directed by Roland Emmerich, Anonymous suggests Shakespeare was a fraud and portrays the Earl of Oxford, Edward de Vere, as the true author of Shakespeare’s works.
A campaign launched by the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust is aiming to debunk the conspiracy theories.
On the day of the film’s premiere on Tuesday, the Trust will be challenging people to imagine a life without Shakespeare, highlighting his influence in modern life.
Dr Paul Edmondson, the trust’s head of learning and research, said: “There are a mass of historical fact which you have to ignore if you want to believe any of the conspiracy theories about the authorship of Shakespeare’s works.
"There is no secret, no code that needs breaking, but Anonymous is set to stir up the debate which has spiralled since Shakespeare’s authorship was first questioned in 1856.”
Chris Hall, manager of The Shakespeare pub in Summer Row, in Birmingham city centre, will be covering up the pub’s sign and all traces of Shakespeare on Tuesday.
Mr Hall said: “This is a case of artistic licence gone mad. By covering up the pub’s name I’m doing my bit to make people realise you can’t wipe Shakespeare off the slate.”