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Monday, 11 February, 2002, 12:09 GMT
Stars sing Shakespeare
Dave Stewart, Annie Lennox, Tom Courtney, composer Michael Kamen, Lord Attenborough and Richard Briers during a photocall at the Old Vic theatre, London
Dave Stewart and Annie Lennox (left) were joined by a host of actors
Musicians and actors including Annie Lennox, Alan Rickman, Dave Gilmour and Richard Attenborough were among the stars to set Shakespearean love sonnets to music for a one-off charity concert in London on Sunday.

A packed house at the Old Vic Theatre, Waterloo, saw rock artists and composers accompany stars of stage and screen who sung or recited the romantic verses.

Richard Wilson and Richard Attenborough took part
Richard Wilson and Richard Attenborough took part
The show was an early Valentine's celebration of Shakespeare's sonnets to tie in with the release of a CD of the musical verses.

Lennox teamed up with her former Eurythmics bandmate Dave Stewart for the concert, while other performers included actor Richard Briers, award-winning composer Michael Kamen and soul singer Des'ree.

The Eurythmics reunion was reportedly the highlight of the night, with Lennox singing Live With Me And Be My Love - taken from a poem by Shakespeare's contemporary, Christopher Marlowe - to music by Stewart.

The 53-track CD, called When Love Speaks, also includes performances by Joseph Fiennes, Kenneth Branagh, Richard Wilson, Ladysmith Black Mambazo and Bryan Ferry.

Profits from its sale will help struggling future stars of UK stage and screen.

'Universal truth'

"Shakespeare is quintessential English," Harry Potter star Rickman said after the show.

"Shakespeare is simple and complex at the same time. It's the universal truth."

Oscar-winning director Richard Attenborough said When Love Speaks was "a fascinating marriage of historical literature and contemporary song".

It was the "greatest labour of love", he added.

The performances were greeted by rapturous applause by the audience at the theatre where Sir Laurence Olivier made his name in a number of Shakespearian roles.

The project is a joint venture between the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art and record label EMI Classics.

See also:

17 Aug 01 | Arts
Twisting with the Bard
05 Jul 99 | Entertainment
Eurythmics back on tour
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