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London - Budget airline easyJet was on Wednesday marking the 450th anniversary of the birth of Britain's most famous playwright, William Shakespeare, with an onboard performance of his works at 11 000 metres.
The Reduced Shakespeare Company is attempting to set a Guinness World Record for the highest theatrical performance on the flight from Gatwick, near London, to Verona in Italy, the setting of one of Shakespeare's most famous plays, Romeo and Juliet.
The performance is also part of the company's campaign to make April 23 National William Shakespeare Day.
It is promoting sites linked with the Bard of Avon, as he was also known, in order to encourage tourism in Britain. Passengers are being asked to sign a petition which needs 100 000 signatures by the end of July to get the campaign debated in parliament.
On Wednesday morning it had just under 700. “Shakespeare's legacy is at the heart of culture, not just in Britain, but across Europe and the rest of the world, and easyJet is proud to be supporting the campaign for there to be a national day in his honour,” said easyJet spokesman Paul Moore.
Three actors will perform Shakespeare's entire canon of almost 40 plays in about an hour at the front of the aircraft, easyJet said. Nadhim Zahawi, parliamentarian for Stratford-upon-Avon, where Shakespeare was born and died, has also supported the campaign. “Is it a Bard, is it a plane?” he said. “William Shakespeare is one of Britain's greatest gifts to the world; he was not of an age, but for all time, and I have long argued this sceptred isle should celebrate April 23 as a national holiday,” he continued. - Sapa-dpa