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Last Updated: Wednesday, 17 September, 2003, 15:16 GMT 16:16 UK
Blood plea to Bard fans
RSC Theatre, Stratford
The National Blood Service is hoping the play will bring in new donors
Theatre-goers watching one of Shakespeare's most violent and gruesome plays are being asked to donate their own blood after the performance.

The National Blood Transfusion Service will be camped outside the Royal Shakespeare Theatre after the latest production of Titus Andronicus.

The rarely-performed revenge play has been described as the biggest bloodbath in the Bard's canon.

The Stratford-upon-Avon-based theatre group came up with the idea when its make-up department used pictures of real life injuries to create convincing wounds and bruises using water, glucose, fruit colouring and treacle as fake blood.

Penny Richardson, from the National Blood Transfusion Service, said: "We are always pleased when organisations like the RSC want to help raise awareness for the need for more blood donors.

"Theatre-goers will be able to donate their blood before each performance or simply sign up to become a donor after talking to our recruitment team.

"Unlike the Royal Shakespeare Company we are unable to make our own blood."

The NBTS recruitment van will be parked outside the theatre throughout the run of production until November 7.

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