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Time: 16:21 23 May 2011

London 2012 athletes perform in Shakespeare's honour

24th April 2012

A group of leading athletes involved in the Paralympic and Olympic Games have celebrated Shakespeare's birthday.

Alongside actors, the sportsmen and women have put together a short film to promote the start of the World Shakespeare Festival. The film shows them reciting lines from The Tempest Act 3, Scene 2 to highlight that the playwright's work is accessible to all.

Ruth Mackenzie, director at London 2012 Festival, said: "We wanted to celebrate the opening of the World Shakespeare Festival by releasing a film which shows Shakespeare is fun as well as unforgettable."

She added: "This celebration of Shakespeare is of Olympic scale and ambition and we hope the film will excite new audiences by linking the Festival to the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games."

The film, which can be viewed online, also features some well-known Olympic stars including Olympic Gold medallist and current triple jump world record holder Jonathan Edwards and Paralympic Games medal winner Ade Adepitan.

A number of actors from the Royal Shakespeare Company are also involved in the project. These include Ray Fearon, Adjoa Andoh, Meera Syal and Simon Russell Beale.

The World Shakespeare Festival will continue until November and will bring together organisations from around the world to celebrate the famous Bard's work and will include some 70 productions.

Tickets are now available and it could be an ideal treat for those enjoying romantic London getaways this summer.

A major part of the festival will be a special series of plays at London's Globe Theatre, where all of Shakespeare's plays will be performed but each in a different language and by a different production company.

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