Phone box changed into Shakespeare tribute

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Richard Simmons, managing director of the Mad Museum, was yesterday (Wednesday) busy painting and preparing the old telephone box in Henley Street for the new installation. Photo: Mark Williamson M1/1/20/9093

AN old red telephone box in Stratford-upon-Avon will be unveiled at 6pm today, Friday, as a tribute to Shakespeare.

If the idea sounds mad – it is – because the telephone box is Stratford’s latest exhibit to honour the memory of the world’s greatest playwright and has been commissioned by The MAD (Mechanical Art and Design) Museum based in Henley Street.

The kinetic art sculpture is virtually opposite Shakespeare’s Birthplace in Henley Street and has been created by Pascal Bettex from Switzerland who has produced thought-provoking works of art and worked with The MAD Museum previously.

Anyone peering inside the former BT ‘phone box will see a range of items with a strong connection to Shakespeare and his plays like Yorick’s  skull from Hamlet, a small bust of Shakespeare himself, and the immortal line, To Be, or not to be stamped on a moving spring.

Stratford mayor Cllr Kate Rolfe has accepted the call to unveil the ‘phone box at 6pm.

Iain Simmons, manager at The MAD Museum said: “Pascal got hold of all the internal dimensions and created the sculpture off site for installation here on Thursday and Friday. Pascal likes to build things and the theme is all about Shakespeare and even includes a Shakespeare mug it’s all very MAD-esque! This phone box was de-commissioned but is completely refurbished and has 76 specially strengthened window panes.”

Richard Simmons, managing director of the Mad Museum, preparing the old telephone box earlier this week. Photo: Mark Williamson         M1/1/20/9093