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EasyJet backs Shakespeare day petition

8 April 2014

Airline EasyJet has backed the campaign to get the world’s most famous playwright officially recognised in the British calendar.

Created by Faith Hines and a dedicated group of fellow Equity members, the Shakespeare Day Campaign is aiming to get the 100,000 signatures on their petition necessary for the issue to be debated in Parliament.

As part of its campaign support EasyJet has arranged a programme of free Shakespearean performances at airports across the country to share the playwright’s most famous work. The airline’s special William Shakespeare plane will also operate on flights across easyJet’s network this summer. The campaign for national William Shakespeare Day will culminate on the 450th anniversary of the Bard’s birth this 23 April.

The picture shows Britain’s oldest real life William Shakespeare together with Stratford-upon-Avon MP Nadhim Zahawias at the unveling of an EasyJet plane adorned with a portrait of Shakespeare. 91 year old Mr Shakespeare, from Bristol, said: "It is such an honour to be chosen to launch this campaign to recognise my namesake. All my life I have been proud to share my name with such an iconic British figure and I think it is important we recognise his achievements with an official day in the calendar."

Faith Hines, who coordinated the Shakespeare Day Campaign, said: "As Ben Jonson said, Shakespeare ‘was not of an age but for all time’. Sign the online petition to ensure that we have a Shakespeare Day every year." Equity member Emma Thompson added: "We know what we are, but know not what we may be.' - "That's for sure. And it is, of course Shakespeare who said pretty much everything that needs to be said. I fully support the campaign for a National Shakespeare Day - we should all be in the habit of celebrating his place at the heart of what it means to be human!"

Paul Moore, Communications Director for easyJet said: ‎"William Shakespeare is Britain's most famous author so easyJet is proud to back the bid to make 23 April his national day. We are asking our UK passengers to sign the petition while suggesting to those from the rest of Europe that they visit the land of Shakespeare to learn more about him and see his works performed.

EasyJet will be supporting the campaign with a performance on board the plane pn 23 April by the Reduced Shakespeare Company on the way to Verona, the setting of Romeo and Juliet. 

EasyJet will be collecting signatures and offering free Shakespeare performances at the following airports this month:

• London Gatwick: 12 and 13 April
• London Luton: 14 and 15 April
• Edinburgh: 14 and 15 April
• London Stansted: 14 and 15 April
• Manchester: 16 and 17 April
• Bristol: 16 and 17 April


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