EasyJet Breaks World Record With In-Air Bard Performance to Make National Shakespeare Day a Reality
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The anniversary of Shakespeare's birth (and maybe death) was Wednesday, meaning people all over the world scrambled to dust off their copies of Hamlet so they could show off their Bard knowledge to unsuspecting victims. And yes, we know that there's a general haze around Shakes' exact day of birth and death, but let's just go with it. To celebrate the playwright's 450th birthday, easyJet decided to do things a little differently by putting on a Guinness World Record performance of an abridged version of his most famous works for lucky customers on a flight to Italy.
The unique event was put on by the Reduced Shakespeare Company on the 10:20 a.m. flight from Gatwick to Verona (obviously) and lasted about one hour. The aircraft, which easyJet decorated with a 10-foot image of the poet on the fuselage, was 37,000 feet in the air when the three actors "took stage," breaking the Guinness World Record for the highest theatrical performance ever put on.
Many have been calling for April 23 to be National William Shakespeare Day and the performance was part of easyJet's month-long campaign to make that holiday a reality - since heritage and culture are some of the key factors of tourism to the UK, the campaign makes total sense. easyJet has also been staging free performances of Shakes' work at check-in desks.
“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," says Paul Moore, Communications Director for easyJet.
The official petition is backed by Stratford-upon-Avon MP Nadhim Zahawi and Bloomsbury Publishing, and needs 100,000 signatures by the end of July to make it to Parliament.