Father and son play their part in University of Leicester's non-stop 'Bardathon'

Posted by pt91 at Jun 15, 2012 11:54 AM |
Much Ado About Shakespeare at University campus from Monday 18 June- Friday 22 June

A University of Leicester employee and his eight-year-old son are helping students to perform the complete works of Shakespeare.

Students from the University of Leicester are performing a non-stop 'Bardathon' over four and a half days and Mike Simpson, from the University's Marketing Communications Office, has volunteered for a small role in Macbeth which he first played at school.

"In 1985 I was the Old Man in Act 2 who talks about bad omens," said Mike. "I feel the time is right to reprise this role. If it goes well I might do it again in another 27 years."

Mike's son Thomas Simpson, aged eight, will be the youngest member of the Bardathon cast. Thomas, whose mother Hillary works in the University's Department of Geology, is a pupil at Samworth Enterprise Academy and has learned about Shakespeare from episodes of Doctor Who and Horrible Histories. He has been given special permission to leave school early in order to play Lucius, a servant-boy in Julius Caesar.

Thomas said: "I love Roman history. I was Emperor Claudius in a school assembly and I think this will be lots of fun."

The Shakespeare Marathon will run continuously from 7.00am on Monday 18 June and is expected to finish at around 4.30pm on Friday 22 June with a reading of the Bard's last will and testament. The performance will take place in front of the David Wilson Library and anyone passing by the University campus is invited to come along and watch.

Mike has also volunteered for a second, uniquely challenging role as 'First Pirate' in Pericles, the shortest speaking role in any Shakespeare play. He has set up a donations page for Thomas at justgiving.com/lucius to raise money for the University's Cardiovascular Research Centre Appeal and, if enough people sponsor Thomas' performance, Mike has promised to cycle two miles to the University at midnight on Thursday 21 June, in full pirate costume, in order to say just two words.

"Performing one of Shakespeare's least known works in the middle of the night, possibly to no audience, possibly in the rain, is a magnificently silly thing to do," said Mike, "and I feel that I should make a similar effort.”

More on the Bardathon here.


Note to newsdesk: You can contact Mike on 0116 252 2106 or email mjs76@le.ac.uk

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