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Britain’s oldest William Shakespeare launches Shakespearean performances for Easter holidaymakers

Created: 22nd Apr 2014

Britain’s oldest living William Shakespeare on Wednesday 16 April supported a campaign at Bristol Airport to create an official day for his namesake.

1 year William Shakespeare, from Bristol, joined easyJet and a troop of Shakespearean actors as they staged free performances of the Bard’s most famous work for passengers setting off on their Easter holidays.

The theatrical performances are part of a nationwide campaign launched by easyJet to recognise 23 April as National William Shakespeare Day. The airline has staged free Shakespearean performances at airports across the UK this week to help garner the 100,000 signatures required to take the debate to parliament.

Bristol’s very own William Shakespeare also joined easyJet at the launch of the campaign where he unveiled a special edition aircraft with a ten foot image of the playwright on the fuselage.

William Shakespeare from Bristol, said: "It is such an honour to be chosen to launch this campaign to recognise my namesake. All my life I have been proud to share my name with such an iconic British figure and I think it is important we recognise his achievements with an official day in the calendar."

Heritage and culture remain one of the key drivers of tourism to the UK (Visit Britain report) and this 23 April – the 450th anniversary of Shakespeare’s birth – easyJet will stage a performance of his complete works onboard a flight to Verona.

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. 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.

"Our campaign will run during April in our in-flight magazine read by 5 million passengers a month, across thousands of seat back adverts and we will be staging free Shakespearean performances at airports across the UK.”

Nadhim Zahawi, MP for Stratford-upon-Avon said:
"Is it a Bard, is it a plane? 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 sceptre’d isle should celebrate April 23 as a national holiday. I’m delighted that easyJet have chosen to campaign on this issue."

For more information about the campaign and to add your support please visit: