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Britain’s Royal Shakespeare Company holds virtual reality performance

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An undated handout photo issued by the Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) shows one of its members who will take part in a live performance using virtual reality technology.

London (dpa) – The Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) in Britain is to stage a virtual reality performance for the first time in its history.

The company, which is famed for staging the works of playwright William Shakespeare, announced on Monday it would perform the show “Dream” starting next month.

It was originally planned as a live performance that would have opened last spring but has been reworked into an online special as theatres across Britain remain closed for the foreseeable future due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The play, which is based on Shakespeare’s comedy “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” features gaming and stage technology with an interactive score that responds to the actors’ movements.

An undated handout photo issued by the Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) shows one of its members who will take part in a live performance using virtual reality technology.

“Dream” is to be set in a virtual forest through which the audience will be led to meet characters from “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” such as Cobweb, Mustardseed, Peaseblossom and Moth.

The RSC’s artistic director Gregory Doran said the new performance was “exciting.”

“It’s not a replacement to being in the space with the performers but it opens up new opportunities,” he said.

The play is to run from Friday 12 March to Saturday 20 March.

The Royal Shakespeare Company was founded in 1961 and is based in Shakespeare’s hometown of Stratford-upon-Avon in the West Midlands, 133 kilometers north-west of London.

Shakespeare, who died in 1616, is believed to be the greatest English writer in history due to his exceptional plays and poetry.

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