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British Shakespeare Company

The British Shakespeare Company is the best known and most successful open-air Shakespeare company in Great Britain. As a performer of Shakespeare's works, it is second in size and reputation only to the RSC. Since its inception the British Shakespeare Company has achieved critical acclaim for its productions throughout Great Britain and internationally.

The British Shakespeare Company has performed over 1500 shows entertained hundreds of thousands of people, employed hundreds of actors – from movie stars to the finest classically-trained verse-speakers – and has toured all around England and beyond. In addition to remaining an active and vibrant touring company, The British Shakespeare Company will be building a replica-Elizabethan Playhouse in the North of England. The Rose Theatre will be a National Landmark, a living history and educational centre, a major tourist attraction and, most importantly, home to wonderful open-air theatre.

The tradition of open-air theatre is deeply rooted in British culture and it is this tradition that has always inspired the British Shakespeare Company. Fifteen years ago, actor-manager Robert J Williamson set about creating a festival in his home town of Leeds. This festival is now one of the largest professional Shakespeare festivals in the UK, attracting 15,000 people annually.

As well as being "Britain's largest and best loved open-air Shakespeare Company" (the BBC), The British Shakespeare Company has performed in London's West End, at major repertory theatres and even at Royal Palaces.

The British Shakespeare Company has just completed its first film Sweet Swan of Avon, filming across England and Norway, which will be released internationally at the end of 2009. This includes scenes from 15 of Shakespeare’s plays, which means the BSC has visited more of the cannon on film than any other company.

The British Shakespeare Company also put forward the idea of a National Shakespeare Day to be held on 23 April which received cross-party support and widespread news coverage. The company’s suggestion to send out 'Shakespeare Packs' to schools for children of all ages to give them an early and fun introduction to Shakespeare has now been taken up as government policy.

The British Shakespeare Company aims to capture the imagination of the public by presenting the Bard’s greatest works in a clear, engaging and dynamic style.