Saturday, 4 April 2009

Celebrate Shakespeare's birthday on April 23 at Derby City General Hospital, where 1623 theatre company will perform scenes from his most famous plays both inside and outside the hospital from 11am onwards.

Join Romeo at Juliet's balcony, wonder at the Taming of the Shrew, find out why there's Much Ado About Nothing and get to the Bottom of A Midsummer Night's Dream.

Shakespeare at the hospitalJuliet Cooper, Arts Coordinator at the hospital, says: "When 1623 theatre company offered us the chance for patients, visitors and staff to see scenes from Shakespeare's well-known plays, we jumped at the chance.

"With performances lasting only 10 minutes at a time, we are hoping that this light-hearted distraction will mean that our visitors and staff will arrive at their departments with a smile on their faces."

Shakespeare at the Hospital is part of Shakes in the City: Derby celebrates Shakespeare in film, music and performance.  For more information, visit

The performances are supported by the Hospitals Arts program air (arts to aid wellbeing).


Information on 1623 theatre company

Five-star 1623 theatre company ("uplifting ... unusual and entertaining" - British Theatre Guide) performs Shakespeare in non-traditional theatre spaces.  Recent venues and events include Poole's Cavern, Derby Silk Mill, Galleries of Justice, Nottingham Playhouse, Milton Keynes Theatre, Glastonbury Festival, Matlock Live, World Heritage Discovery Festival, rural village halls and city spaces.

The company leads Shakespeare-based learning projects in schools, colleges and universities.  Recent projects include Romeo and Juliet with sinfonia ViVA, A-level Study Day at Sheffield Hallam University, Shakespeare's Sonnets at Derby University, and workshops in schools and colleges throughout the UK ("an exceptional experience for pupils and teachers alike" - Westminster Cathedral Choir School).

Information on air: arts to aid wellbeing

air is lottery-funded through Arts Council England.  Derby Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust wants the new Derby Hospital to have a uniquely welcoming environment.

air: arts to aid wellbeing is our arts in hospital program. It supports the healing process with high quality art, which helps to create a therapeutic environment and a place in which patients can engage positively with their surroundings.

Notes for editors

Shakespeare at Derby City General Hospital on Thursday April 23, 2009

  • Romeo and Juliet, King's Treatment Centre, 11am and 2pm
  • The Taming of the Shrew, outside Main Reception, 11.30am and 2.30pm
  • Much Ado About Nothing, Main Reception, 12pm and 3.00pm
  • A Midsummer Night's Dream, Children's Hospital, at 12.30pm and 3.30pm

For further details contact Shelley Cummings on

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Photoshoots of actors in action, and interviews with air and 1623, are available on request


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