Date: 31/07/2021
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Enter - pursued by a bear

As a way to tear children from their Pokemon games and get them into the theatre, this certainly bears thinking about. From The Telegraph, with thanks to Esmerelda:

A mystery 'bear' spotted roaming a Suffolk forest was a hoax, dreamed up by actors to promote an outdoor production of Shakespeare's 'A Winter's Tale'.

The Red Rose Chain Theatre Company rescreated the play's famous stage direction 'Exit – pursued by a bear' in Rendlesham Forest, near Ipswich and posted the footage on You Tube.

They then persuaded three people to report seeing the bear in the woods, leading authorities to investigateamid fears one of the creatures could have escaped from a private enclosure.

The stunt was staged to get children and families interested in Shakespeare. Actors are performing an outdoor production of 'Winter's Tale' in the forest in August.

Actor and designer Jimmy Grimes said: "We didn't want to scare anyone. The idea is to get kids interested and excited about the play. We want to create a family-friendly, fairytale feel for the production.

"This is our 10th forest production. It's such an unusual event so we're always looking for ways to get people interested."

"No one really knows that much about the play. There's a tiny little stage direction – Exit, pursued by a bear – and a bear is supposed to follow him and it turns out he gets eaten by the bear.

"This tiny little stage direction is probably the most famous part of the play and it's something we thought we could use to get kids interested."

Brown bears have been extinct in Britain since around the 11th Century.

Now here's a challenge: get the kids of to see a production of Royal Hunt of the Sun, by doing the less famous but even more challenging stage direction: "They cross the Andes." Not easy in Ipswich - you'd need somewhere a bit more hilly, like Ramsbottom.