Monday, 26 April 2010

Our London 2012 Inspire Mark project The Great Shakespearean Workout 2010 launched on Friday 23 April at Derby Hospitals where we moved to the Shakespeare beat with patients, staff and visitors.

The team gathers at Royal Derby Hospital for the launch © 1623

Shakespeare himself was there to celebrate his 446th birthday, along with characters from Troilus and Cressida and a team of associate artists who took part in two sessions of the 60-minute fitness programme based on the play.

The Greek and Trojan armies prepare for battle © 1623

The launch started at 12pm at London Road Community Hospital, where associate artist Katherine Glenn transformed into an aerobics instructor while artistic director Ben Spiller was interviewed live on BBC Radio Derby.

When the warm-up, workout and warm-down were complete, the team caught the Derby Hospitals Link Bus from London Road Community Hospital to the Royal Derby Hospital, opened recently by Her Majesty The Queen.

Reactions from people on the bus ranged from mild panic to high amusement, as Shakespeare took his seat followed by Greek and Trojan warriors, Helen of Troy and the Greek servant Thersites. Meanwhile, we all roused the bus by singing the birthday song for Shakespeare.

Katherine Glenn keeps everyone moving © 1623

The second part of the launch took place at 3pm at the Royal Derby Hospital, where we all took to the plaza outside Main Reception for another fun aerobics class. A set of images from the session at Royal Derby Hospital is now on our Flickr profile.

Associate trainee and workout drummer Oliver Tunstall is keeping a blog of his experiences with The Great Shakespearean Workout 2010 throughout the summer. Check out his progress at Oliver's observations of fitness fun.

Now that The Great Shakespearean Workout 2010 is launched, it will take place at a number of arts festivals throughout the summer and autumn, before moving into schools and colleges in the autumn term. For more information, take a look at

Supported by Derbyshire County Council, Legacy Trust UK and East Midlands Development Agency, The Great Shakespearean Workout 2010 is part of Igniting Ambition, the London 2012 Cultural Olympiad in the East Midlands.

Participants jog in circles as the Trojan War enters its seventh year © 1623


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