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Ian McKellen, Lucian Msamati and Fiona Shaw to perform in Almeida's new speech project

Figures of Speech is a series of films, released for free, of iconic speeches from history

Ian McKellen, Lucian Msamati and Fiona Shaw
© Dan Wooller for WhatsOnStage

The Almeida Theatre have today launched a new digital film project based on some of history's greatest speeches.

Figures of Speech is a series of films, with one released every day for five days, which will see iconic speeches delivered by a network of actors and young leaders.

Ian McKellen will read a speech by American politician Harvey Milk, the words of Nelson Mandela will be spoken by Lucian Msamati, Fiona Shaw will read Virginia Woolf, Nicola Walker will perform a speech by AIDS activist Elizabeth Glaser, and Ashley Walters will deliver a speech by Labour party politician Neil Kinnock.

The films, directed by Anthony Almeida, will be available for free via the dedicated microsite at 12pm today, with further slates of films following later in the year.

Almeida artistic director Rupert Goold conceived the piece, which aims to 'harness the power of performance to explore big political and social ideas'.

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