Thursday, 15 April 2010

There's a buzz of excitement at 1623 theatre company, as they're all getting ready for their latest innovative Shakespeare project, which launches on Friday 23 April at Derby Hospitals.

Awarded the London 2012 Inspire Mark, The Great Shakespearean Workout 2010 is an aerobics class based on the language and characters from one of Shakespeare's lesser-known plays.

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."

The beat of Shakespeare's verse provides the pulse for a series of fun exercises developed in association with Derby Hospitals and "air: arts to aid wellbeing".  Further to aerobics, other influences include kung fu, tai chi and yoga.

Participants are invited to come along, watch or join in the launch with characters from Troilus and Cressida including Greek and Trojan warriors, Thersites the disgruntled servant and the most beautiful woman in the world, Helen of Troy.

Shakespeare will be there, too, as 23 April is his birthday and there will be lots of birthday balloons to celebrate.

After the launch, the Workout takes place at arts festivals throughout the summer and autumn, before moving into schools and colleges in the autumn term.

The Great Shakespearean Workout 2010 is supported by Derbyshire County Council, Igniting Ambition through Legacy Trust UK and East Midlands Development Agency. For more details, please visit


Notes for editors

Information on The Great Shakespearean Workout 2010

LAUNCH DAY - Friday 23 April 2010?
12.00 p.m. to 1.00 p.m. at London Road Community Hospital (former DRI), DE1 2QY?
3.00 p.m. to 4.00pm at Royal Derby Hospital, DE22 3NE

Ben Spiller is available for interview on 07867 996959 or email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Further information can be found at

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.

Please visit for more information.


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