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“As merry as the day is long”. Over 30,000 people enjoy Shakespeare Lives on The Isle of Wight!

On the occasion of his 400 Anniversary, William Shakespeare enjoyed the party of a lifetime as he visited the Isle of Wight on Saturday.

Arriving on the 10.47 catamaran, he was greeted by his patron and commissioner, Sir George Carey, Captain of the Island and resident of Carisbrooke Castle. Sir George, (played by New Carnival Company Executive Director Chris Slann), escorted the Bard, his entourage of Actors (IOW Shakespeare Company) and Tudor Drummers (aka Freshwater and Totland Samba Band) on a whirlwind tour of the Island, taking in the sights of Appley Tower, Ventnor Haven, The Needles, Carisbrooke Castle and Osborne House. He even dropped in for a pint at the Pointer Inn at Newchurch!

The New Carnival Company, creators of the giant Shakespeare puppet and organisers of the Tour, shared the visit via social media throughout the day, enabling audiences from as far afield as USA, Australia, India and Brazil to experiences the wonders of the Isle of Wight.

Frankie Goldspink, Creative Director of the New Carnival Company said “we were bowled over by the enthusiastic response from local audiences and from around the globe. We earned over 20,000 twitter impressions throughout the day and a further 10,000 views on Facebook. William has promised to return to the Island in the summer, where he will lead the New Carnival Company’s Mardi Gras parade at Ryde, on Saturday 25 June”.

Shakespeare himself added …” I like this place and willingly could waste my time in it” … “Can one desire too much of a good thing?” (As you Like it)

 The New Carnival Company is grateful to its supporters at English Heritage, The National Trust, Ryde and Ventnor Town Councils, Wightlink and The IW County Press in making this memorable occasion viable.

Contact Chris Slann, CEO, The New Carnival Company CIC. Tel 01983 716095, mobile 07876 731836.  Email chris@thenewcarnivalcompany.com

Photo: William Shakespeare at Osborne House with children from Holy Cross Primary School, Cowes.

Notes to Editor

  1. The giant William Shakespeare puppet was made and performed by The New Carnival Company’s lead artist, Gina Dyer. Social media correspondent on the tour was island photographer Graham Reading.
  2. Isle of Wight Mardi Gras is the New Carnival Company’s flagship event. It will be presented in Ryde on Saturday 25 June from 3pm.  Around 750 people take part every year attracting an audience in excess of 15,000.
  3. The Mardi Gras adopts a topical theme every year, which enables schoolchildren and community members to explore and discover new things about their heritage and the world around them, researching their themes in depth prior to creating their costumes.
  4. This year the theme is ‘All the World’s a Stage’ – a William Shakespeare Mardi Gras.  The parade will depict, through carnival costume and performance, the more popular of Shakespeare’s plays, themes and famous quotes.
  5. Shakespeare Lives is a British Council-led global programme of events and activities celebrating William Shakespeare’s work on the occasion of the 400th anniversary of his death in 2016. It will run throughout 2016, exploring Shakespeare as a living writer who still speaks for all people and nations. shakespearelives.org
  6. The New Carnival Company CIC (The NCC) is the leading carnival arts development agency in the south of England. We work with people to create spectacular, engaging events that have the power to change lives. The NCC is proud to be part of Arts Council’s England’s (ACE) National portfolio, a kite mark for Quality and Innovation in the arts. thenewcarnivalcompany.com



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