Monday, 4 January 2010

Shakespeare theatre company 1623 has been awarded the prestigious London 2012 Inspire Mark for an innovative arts-and-health project, which will be launched at Derby Hospitals on April 23 (Shakespeare's birthday).

The Great Shakespearean Workout 2010 brings together art and sport by using the beat of Shakespeare's poetry as the pulse for a series of aerobic exercises.  Other influences on the Workout include kung fu, pilates, tai chi and yoga.

Ben Spiller, 1623 artistic director and producer, explained: "The Workout is based on Troilus and Cressida, Shakespeare's only play to draw on the mythology of Ancient Greece, the birthplace of the Olympic Games.

"London 2012 is the first modern Olympics to take inspiration from Ancient Greece by making the arts an integral feature of the event, through the creation of the Cultural Olympiad; the Workout celebrates this."

Participants will be given the chance to warm-up, work-out and warm-down in a 60-minute session while exploring the language and characters of Shakespeare's play with the Workout leader.

The Workout will take place at a number of Derbyshire arts festivals in the summer and autumn of 2010, before it moves into schools and colleges across the county throughout the autumn term.

Exercises are being developed by 1623 in partnership with physiotherapists at Royal Derby Hospital through "air: arts to aid wellbeing", an organisation that specialises in arts and health.

The Great Shakespearean Workout 2010 is supported by Derbyshire County Council and Igniting Ambition, through Legacy Trust UK.


Notes for editors

Information on 1623 theatre company

Five-star 1623 theatre company ("uplifting ... unusual and entertaining" - British Theatre Guide) performs in non-traditional theatre spaces to engage new and existing audiences with Shakespeare’s inspirational language, vibrant characters and exciting sense of theatre.

Recent venues and events include RSC Fringe, Glastonbury Festival, Poole's Cavern, rural village halls and city spaces.

For more details, contact Ben Spiller on 07867 996959 or email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or visit


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