What is 450 minute Shakespeare?

“A day in April never came so sweet,” Merchant of Venice: II, ix ONE MINUTE, OUT OF ONE DAY, IN FOUR HUNDRED AND FIFTY YEARS. Wednesday 23rd April, 2014: 450th Birthday of William Shakespeare. For most of us it’s just a normal working day, which just so happens to be about 450 minutes long but it need not be …

To celebrate the Bard’s 450th, and to support Taunton Theatre Association in their ongoing work to reopen The Brewhouse, a unique challenge has been set up – to fill 23rd April with 450 minutes of Shakespearean shenanigans: 450 Minute Shakespeare.
We invite the whole community – businesses, schools, individuals and organisations – to remember the sense of loss we all felt when The Brewhouse died, and create a huge burst of support for its regeneration, by spending one minute (or more) of 23rd April doing something – anything – vaguely or explicitly to do with Shakespeare. You could paint your face, make Shakespeare biscuits, wear a donkey head, recite or write a sonnet, try cross-dressing, stage King Lear … Anything!

We’re asking the people of Taunton to buy minute(s) from just £1 via our website 450minuteshakespeare.weebly.com . We will then post your images, logos, web links etc on the COUNTDOWN pages of our website, and publicise* your support to our Facebook friends and Twitter followers. [*If you prefer your participation / support to be anonymous, we will mark your minute “Anon.”].
This is an event for everyone – not just thespian-types and English teachers. It’s for nurses, soldiers, young lovers, weavers, bankers, pharmacists and shop-keepers, dancers, priests, sailors, clowns and fools, carpenters and politicians, personal assistants and princes …
450 Minute Shakespeare depends on the crowd – we’re asking for a little money from a lot of people (rather than a lot from a few) to show the nation that The Brewhouse Theatre matters to our community. So sign up now, even if you’re not sure what to do. We’ll give you loads of support and inspiration between now and April 23rd, and remember – it’s only £1 (individual), and only one minute (your boss won’t even notice!).

Together, we could make seven and a half hours of live, ad-lib Shakespearean “theatricals” without even leaving our homes, classrooms or workplaces. Is any other town or city in the UK staging something this ambitious?!
On the day itself, you can photograph, record or film your exploits and send us the evidence. We’ll publicise your good deeds on the web, compile collected media recordings and share the day on YouTube. We also plan to screen this at The Brewhouse in the near future.
Please support this event to put Taunton on the map as a town that cares about arts and culture, and one that loves – and needs – its theatre!


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