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What the #15SecondShakespeare challenge is all about

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Amy Lewis
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The #15SecondShakespeare challenge has officially hit the acting community.

Minnie Driver has done it with Kanye West lyrics, Karen Gillan, Michael Sheen and Sara Cox have all joined in, and we’re currently waiting on Sir Patrick Stewart to accept his nomination.

But why? To raise money for British Red Cross, although it didn’t start that way.

Classically trained actor David Fynn kicked things off last week, by posting an Instagram video of himself turning the Fresh Prince of Bel Air lyrics into a bard-worthy soliloquy.

Tagging the post #15SecondShakespeare, he then challenged a few of his actor friends to do the same; turn pop culture lyrics into a Shakespearean verse.

The videos soon picked up momentum among the acting community, with Amanda Abbington reciting Pharell’s Happy, True Blood’s Stephen Moyer taking on The Jam and Ralf Little doing Gold Digger.

Spotting an opportunity to do some good, Fynn is now using the popularity of what was initially a bit of fun to raise money for British Red Cross and the current refugee crisis in Europe.

Taking to Twitter days after his initial Instagram video went viral, Fynn explains: “So #15secondshakespeare is about to take a turn...”

“#15secondshakespeare will now be supporting the efforts of the charity RED CROSS in the Refugee Crisis. When recording please donate 1st...”

“#15secondshakespeare REDCROSS APPEAL. DONATE @ http://redcross.org.uk txt FAMILY  to 70600. (£5) RECORD & NOMINATE.”

Since the game turned into a charity campaign much like the #IceBucketChallenge (which swept the entire globe), more and more people - famous and non-famous - have channelled their inner bard.

Over 14,700 #15secondshakespeare tweets have been sent so far, with plenty more sure to be on the way.

British Red Cross says that all money raised through the challenge will be used to help people fleeing conflict and poverty.

To donate yourself, either do it online at redcross.org.uk, or text the word FAMILY to 70600 to send £5 to the charity. Don't forget your #15secondshakespeare recital...

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Amy Lewis

Amy Lewis is a freelance writer and editor, a lover of strong tea, equally strong eyebrows, a collector of facial oils and a cat meme enthusiast. She covers everything from beauty and fashion to feminism and travel.

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