A HIDDEN historic room - believed to have been used by William Shakespeare - opened its doors to the public today to commemorate the 400th anniversary of his death. 

The Painted Room in Cornmarket Street is understood to be where Shakespeare slept while travelling to Stratford upon Avon and it was painted between 1564 and 1581.

The Oxford Preservation Trust arranged a variety of Shakespearean themed performances in the room, including a musical performance from lute player Edward Fitzgibbon. 

He said: "I've been playing the lute for over 30 years and it's a great instrument.

"I also feel very much at home in this Shakespearean costume."

A group of youngsters from Creation Theatre Company also put on their very own performance of a selection of scenes from A Midsummer Night's Dream.

The Oxford Times:

Star performer Orlando Riviere, 15, said it was quite nerve-wracking.

He said: "We were all quite nervous but it was really good fun.

"We chose to do some scenes from A Midsummer Night's Dream because it's the part where they put on a really bad play and we thought that if it went wrong it wouldn't matter so much because it's supposed to be bad."

The performances came after costumed, Shakespeare-themed parade through the city centre.

To find out more about the Oxford Preservation Trust, visit: oxfordpreservation.org.uk