Nearly 18,000 people travelled to Epidaurus to see the troupe's final two performances of Shakespeare's The Winter's Tale, part of the critically acclaimed inaugural year of The Bridge Project, a transatlantic company run by Sam Mendes. According to a spokesperson, the Saturday performance sold 9,200 seats — the first time in memory for a non-Greek production. Festival organizers took the unusual step of taking to the airwaves to advise non-ticket holders from Athens not to travel to Epidaurus as no tickets would be available.
The Bridge Project, is a unique three-year series of co-productions between The Old Vic, Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM) and Neal Street Productions devoted to producing large-scale, classical theatre for international audiences. The 2009 Bridge Project (offering The Cherry Orchard and The Winter's Tale) began its journey in Brooklyn in January before an international tour to Singapore (Singapore Repertory Theatre), Auckland (The Edge), Madrid (Teatro Espanol), Germany (Ruhrfestspiele Recklinghausen), The Old Vic in London and finally in Epidaurus as part of the Athens & Epidaurus Festival.
[caption id="attachment_749" align="aligncenter" width="414" caption="Audience of The Bridge Project's The Winter's Tale"][/caption]