Bear reports in Suffolk all a hoax

REPORTS of a brown bear roaming Rendlesham Forest can today be revealed as a giant hoax. A number of bear sightings reported on Monday were all part of an elaborate publicity stunt by a Suffolk theatre company.

REPORTS of a brown bear roaming Rendlesham Forest can today be revealed as a giant hoax.

A number of bear sightings reported on Monday were all part of an elaborate publicity stunt by a Suffolk theatre company.

The Red Rose Chain Theatre Company is planning an outdoor summer production of William Shakespeare's A Winter's Tale which includes the famous stage direction 'Exit, pursued by a bear'.

Actor and designer Jimmy Grimes said the phrase inspired their promotional campaign.


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He 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.

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'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.

'In Shakespeare's day they probably would have had a real live bear at the Globe.

'But 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.'

As well as sending out emails detailing fictitious sightings of the mystifying animal in the woods, the theatre company has also posted hoax videos of it on Youtube.

The Red Rose Chain's production of A Winter's Tale runs from August 6 to 30 at Rendlesham Forest and tickets can be purchased by calling 01473 288886 or from the company's website, www.redrosechain.co.uk.

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