Interactive Exhibitions Bring Fun with Certain Grain of Truth; Art

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THERE'S more than just top drama to see in Shakespeare's home town this summer.

Two fascinating and different exhibitions let grains of rice and wall projections take centre stage at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre in Stratford.

Digital projections by artists Squidsoup take over on the Colonnade and Relic Wall downstairs.

Bard quotes blast up on the wall in one only for more blotches to appear as people walk past the display, changing it and making fun patterns.

In another work, shapes appear on a shiny surface, and you can create ghostly images by moving about in front of it. When a ball appears, bat it away in mid air, and a projection scuttles up the wall, with words weaving around in different directions.

It's fun and brings out the big kid in all of us.

Meanwhile, theatre company Stan's Caf is staging Of All The People In The World in the PACCAR Room.

It features 1,033 kilogrammes of rice, apparently 62 million grains, one for everyone in the UK. In this performance piece, members of the company are there for part of each day in caretaker uniforms, measuring out the rice into labeled piles representing a huge range of world population statistics. It's a simple and effective and shows that statistics don't have to be boring. The pile representing civilians killed in Iraq since 2003 is far bigger than that of military advisers killed there in the same period.

The rice piles also reveal far more women in England and Wales aged over 40 got pregnant in a year than teenagers. …