Monday, 12 October 2009

Have you ever wondered what would have happened if Romeo had called in help when he first found Juliet in the tomb?  Or if Ophelia had been dragged out of the stream and given the kiss of life?

Find out when a team of St John Ambulance volunteers saves the Shakespearean Day by intervening in 1623 theatre company’s performances of emergency scenes from a number of Shakespeare’s plays.

Amy Scott as Ophelia from Hamlet being rescued by members of St John AmbulanceEmergency Shakespeare! is a free event which will take place in spaces inside and outside QUAD in Derby on Saturday 24 October throughout the day from 10am to 5pm.

Ben Spiller, 1623 artistic director and producer, said: "Working with QUAD and St John Ambulance has been a highly rewarding experience.

"We've learnt a lot about the physical and psychological effects of the conditions that some of Shakespeare's characters endure, and there's no doubt that our work has been enriched as a result.  We hope that we can team up with St John and QUAD again."

Rich Chaplain, Divisional Officer for City of Derby St John Ambulance, added: "We’re always looking for ways of interacting with the public and introducing them to the workings of a modern St John Ambulance Division.

"Working with Ben and the team from 1623, along with the QUAD, is proving very exciting and we are all enjoying the new ways in which we're promoting St John."

Audiences are invited to follow Shakespeare throughout the building to experience Leontes’ panic attack from The Winter’s Tale (10am and 2pm), Ophelia’s drowning from Hamlet (11am and 3pm), Othello’s epileptic seizure (12pm and 4pm), and multiple emergencies in Juliet’s tomb (1pm and 5pm).


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, Royal Derby Hospital, 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

Information on QUAD

QUAD is Derby’s new centre for art and film, on the Market Place in Derby city centre. QUAD is a gallery, cinema, café bar and workshop that anyone can use.

QUAD is a partnership between Derby City Council, Arts Council England, EM Media, European Union, East Midlands Development Agency, Derby and Derbyshire Economic Partnership, Derby City Partnership and Derby Cityscape.

For further information contact Kathy Frain on 01332 285422 or 07791 441941 or email  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or visit


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