Ford delivers vehicles to Globe theatre

The vehicles will be used to support a European tour of Shakespeare plays Hamlet and As You Like It this summer.

The Ford Transit, the most popular van in the world and the best-seller in the UK for 45 years, will help to carry sets, costumes and props to over 40 locations across Europe, while the Ford Mondeo family car will provide transport for actors and crew between shows.

Ford has supported the Globe theatre since 1994 and is currently celebrating its 100th anniversary of Ford cars in Britain. The new Globe theatre, opened in 1997, boasts Ford-sponsored gates featuring 120 symbols from Shakespeare’s plays.

As well as its sponsorship of the Globe theatre, Ford enjoys strong connections with the UK. It’s research and development facility in Dagenham was responsible for the new range of Ford EcoBoost petrol engines, which are built in the Bridgend facility in Wales.

The Ford Transit is also built in the UK at the Southampton plant, and a 2012 model is expected to arrive next year.

Anthony Hewitt, development director at The Globe, said: “We are delighted to receive this kind of support from our friends at Ford. The support they provide as a strategic partner has helped establish the international reputation of Shakespeare’s Globe since 1994.”

The announcement comes days after Shakespeares birthday, which is celebrated on the 23 April each year. In 2011, the theatre will be celebrating the Bard’s 447th birthday with a tour of Europe.

The European tour of Hamlet and As You Like It will start at Hedingham Castle in Essex and extends across Europe, including an appearance at the Argotti Gardens in Malta.