Bard's name is barred in film protest

25th October 2011, Comments 0 comments

Protesters in William Shakespeare's home county were on Tuesday to temporarily remove the writer's name from street signs in support of a campaign against a new film which suggests the Bard was "a fraud".

Shakespeare Birthplace Trust was to tape over nine road signs bearing the writer's name in Warwickshire, central England, in protest at "Anonymous", a new movie which alleges Shakespeare was a "barely literate frontman for the Earl of Oxford".

The charity, which promotes the study of the writer, derided the film as an attempt to "rewrite English culture and history".

Along with the roadsigns, the trust was also to cover up the Gower Memorial statue in Stratford-upon-Avon, Shakespeare's home town, with a sheet and 10 pub signs bearing the writer's name.

The 24-hour protest coincides with the film's premier at the London Film Festival.

Paul Edmondson, the trust's head of knowledge and research, said: "This film flies in the face of a mass of historical fact, but there is a risk that people who have never questioned the authorship of Shakespeare's works could be hoodwinked.

"Shakespeare is at the core of England's cultural and historical DNA, and he is certainly our most famous export.

"Today's activity barely scratches the surface, but we hope it will remind people of the enormous legacy we owe to William Shakespeare of Stratford-upon-Avon."

The film, directed by Roland Emmerich and starring Rafe Spall as Shakespeare and Rhys Ifans as the Earl of Oxford, is due to be released in Britain on Friday.

© 2011 AFP

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