Just finished 24 hour non-stop Shakespeare….

Lovely weather, and the bard responded, as ever, with great words. This is the 3rd year we’ve done it, and more people joined in than ever before. The full company was 257 actors over 24 hours and 17 minutes (we over-ran) (though there was a quiet midsummer night’s dream that happened in the middle of the night for a short while). Quite a cast really, most of whom never expected to be performing Shakespeare that day. Which is why I do it. For the surprise, and the highlights,  and the buzz, and the magic of watching people carried away. Highlights were: the beginning scene of The Tempest, read at ten to seven on Friday morning, by myself and a young grinning and laughing Brazilian, who is now thinking of moving to Sheffield. Lots of readers with English as a second language, bemused and enjoying the richness. Fab work from schools. Shakespeare insult battles. The wonders of the 1623 theatre company Shakespeare aerobics workout – with the lovely Ben Spiller and his team. Joyous and hilarious renditions by late-night revellers. Top of the bill performance goes to 2 brothers, quite intoxicated with the evening, who surprised themselves by putting on wild and flowing robes and reading with big grins for 7 or 8 minutes, when I went up to them and mentioned, to much hilarity, that they were in fact reading from different plays – without realising. Othello meets Midsummer Night’s Dream. Shakespeare mash-up hotch-potch mingle-mangle. Of course, he would ov loved it. Kwl.

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