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Accompanied by a group of actors “disguised as normal people”, the Jerusalem star will approach people in the street and on Tube trains, and spout lines such as “Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day”.
“This is a thing that I’ve done for 15 or 17 years on Shakespeare’s birthday,” said Rylance. “The idea is to take this beautiful language and put it in the street, in a real person’s situation.”
The 12-week festival will also feature a new show by Damon Albarn and the English National Opera called Dr Dee, an exhibition of Tony Cragg’s sculpture on Exhibition Road, and daredevil dancers at London landmarks.