Shakespeare’s most famous stage direction, “Exit, pursued by a bear,” came to life in a Suffolk forest last month when Red Rose Chain Theatre Company staged a stunt to promote their outdoor production of The Winter’s Tale.
Stories that a wild bear (extinct in Britain since the eleventh century) had been sighted roaming Rendlesham Forest soon made national headlines after video footage was posted on YouTube.
The theater company finally admitted that the hoax-footage was actually of a costumed actor from their forthcoming production of The Winter’s Tale in August.
What a great stunt! Although the company have received some complaints, I think it’s a great way to create a “magical vibe” around their performance. Hopefully, their publicity stunt will capture the imagination of people new to Shakespeare.
Photo © Red Rose Chain Theatre Company