TALES from the great bard were acted out in front of shoppers in Basingstoke in a bid to get them to embrace the spirit of Shakespeare.

Actors from the Basingstoke-based Fluid Motion Theatre Company used the streets at Top of The Town as a stage to perform five monologues by the legendary playwright.

The experimental theatre company took the monologues from five different works, including Romeo and Juliet and Hamlet.

Leigh Johnstone, a drama student at The University of Winchester and director of the company, said that he came up with the idea for the ‘Have a go at Shakespeare’ project after hearing of the World Shakespeare Festival in 2012.

The 22-year-old said: “I thought not a lot of people know about Shakespeare and understand how much fun it can be. So I thought we should bring it to the streets and make it fun.”

Some shoppers seemed a bit bemused by the actors shouting and running about in the street, while others stood and watched.

Leigh said: “It’s been really good. A lot of the older generation are really getting involved and a couple of people have tried to help, not realising what was going on.”

The performances marked the start of the Shakespeare project and over the next years, the company plans to visit Andover, Fareham, Portsmouth, Southampton and Winchester.