December 9 2013 Latest news:
Tuesday, August 28, 2012
A flashmob of Shakespearean characters surprised people at Covent Garden as part of the London 2012 Festival.
Shakespearean actor Mark Rylance led the group, who were part of Surprises: What You Will: Pop-Up Shakespeare, a series of free pop-up events taking place at cultural hotspots around the capital this week to celebrate the Paralympic Games.
Surprises: What You Will sees actors and singers, initially indistinguishable from the crowd, suddenly introducing themselves to members of the public whilst speaking as Shakespearean characters.
They will create personalised one-to-one performances and unique experiences before disappearing back into the crowd.
Rylance, who created the performances with director Jonathan Moore, said: “What You Will: Pop-Up Shakespeare is a random act of senseless beauty and an artistic ambush.”
The events are part of the Mayor of London Presents programme and the London 2012 Festival.
London mayor Boris Johnson said: “As we go about our daily business we are often so absorbed in where need to be or too self-conscious to interact with the people around us.
“This is a delightful way to break down those self-imposed barriers. And in the words of the great Bard himself, l do desire we be better strangers.”
More What You Will: Pop-Up Shakespeare performances will be taking place at different locations around London until Sunday, September 2.
Among the characters appearing will be Puck, Hamlet, Cleopatra and Juliet. The 50 actors taking part in performances are aged 17 to 70, have been cast by Shakespeare’s Globe and include deaf and disabled artists.
Ruth Mackenzie, director of the London 2012 Festival, said: “The London 2012 Festival pop up events celebrate the surprise that is at the heart of great festivals - the unexpected encounter which delights and can open our eyes, changes minds, even lives.
“Mark Rylance’s pop up Shakespeare was the first pop up we announced, and the one we most eagerly anticipate.”
Time and locations of performances will remain a secret, but updates will be given at www.molpresents.com/surprises and on Twitter at @molpresents and @London2012Fest.