easyJet celebrated Shakespeare’s 450th anniversary by staging an abridged version of his complete works during a flight from London Gatwick to Verona. The performance, by The Reduced Shakespeare Company lasted an hour and the airline has submitted it to Guiness as a potential World Record for the “World’s highest theatrical performance.” The live performance is part of a wider easyJet campaign to make 23 April National William Shakespeare Day. Heritage and culture remain an important driver of tourism to the UK and the airline has run a month long campaign to promote the best Shakespearean sites to UK visitors as well as staging free performances of the playwright’s work at check in desks.
The production took place aboard a special edition easyJet plane complete with a ten foot image of the Bard on the fuselage. Three actors from the Reduced Shakespeare Company performed at the front of the aircraft and have been rehearsing in easyJet’s Luton training centre in preparation for the unique show.
Paul Moore, Communications Director for easyJet, said:”William Shakespeare is Britain’s most famous author so easyJet is proud to back the bid to make 23 April his national day. To mark the 450th anniversary of the Bard’s birth The Reduced Shakespeare Company will perform his complete works onboard an easyJet flight to Verona for the first time. We hope to set a new Guinness World Record in the process for the highest ever theatrical performance as well as providing a highly entertaining show for passengers.” “Our campaign to make 23 April National Shakespeare Day has run throughout April with seat back advertising on hundreds of flights, free performances at airports and information in our inflight magazine which is read by 5 million passengers a month. We are asking our UK passengers to sign the petition while suggesting to those from the rest of Europe that they visit the land of Shakespeare to learn more about him and see his works performed.”