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Monday, 7 January, 2002, 19:56 GMT
Curtain falls on non-stop Shakespeare
Shakespearian actors
The four perfomers had to be extremely versatile
Former pupils at a school in Gloucestershire are recovering after completing a non-stop recital of all 37 of Shakespeare's plays.

The four actors spent more than five days performing every comedy, history, and tragedy written by the Bard to raise money for theatrical equipment.

Two pairs of actors took turns to act while their colleagues changed costumes or snatched two hours sleep behind the scenes.

Chris Green, a maths teacher at Marling School in Stroud, told BBC News Online: "It was one hell of a buzz - my three colleagues have gone to sleep.

I was in agony

Chris Green, actor and maths teacher

"We were in full costume with sound effects. We were fighting, dying, loving, embracing and crying, it was full on all the way through."

The performance started at 1700 GMT on 2 January with "Henry V", and ended after "Hamlet", at 0630 GMT on Monday.

Between them the actors hope to have raised up to 10,000 buy seating, lighting, and staging to furnish an auditorium which Marling School shares with Stroud High School.

Arduous task

They are also being considered for a listing in the Guinness Book of Records for the fewest number of people to perform every play back-to-back.

Their efforts were watched throughout by a small audience of teachers and pupils.

Mr Green, 30, added: "We probably got no more than two hours sleep, twice a day.

"Anthony and Cleopatra was the hardest... it was 0200 GMT, there were two people in the audience, and I had full Roman armour on for four hours... I was in agony.

"When we got off stage I slept, and dreamed that I was still performing it in a different venue."

See also:

05 May 00 | Education
All ends well for marathon students
04 Dec 01 | Film
Shakespeare goes Maori
18 Dec 01 | Sci/Tech
A bard in the hand
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