London, August 28 : Actor Sir Ian McKellen has mixed a classic Shakespeare sonnet with electronic music and rapping.
He recorded an impromptu recital of Shakespeare's Sonnet 18 that begins with the words "Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?" during a visit to City Gateway, a youth centre in Limehouse, East London.
The speech was later mixed with electronic music and rapping, recorded by some of the youth centre's members.
Sir Ian said that the blending of two art forms separated by 400 years came naturally.
"Shakespeare is all based on beats, rhythm and rhyme - all things that rappers deal with," the Telegraph quoted him as saying.
Eddie Stride, the Director of City Gateway, said: "Sir Ian came to engage with some of the young people. They were quite impressed that someone like him took the time. It was impressive for them to see him using Shakespeare, and they tried to see the links between it and what they do. That was something that inspired them."
British rapper and musician Tricky, however, is not impressed with the project.
"I think what City Gateway does is great. But if Ian McKellen had come to read Shakespeare when I was in school, I don't think it would have had much of an effect on me," he said.
"When I listened to The Specials, I felt 'these guys feel the same way I do', the frustration of growing up in a council flat. I don't know if Shakespeare knew anything about council flats.
"I think schools should be more active in installing recording studios or buying musical instruments so kids can be more hands on," he added.
Sir Ian praised the centre for providing activities for young people.
"This is an amazing resource and the facilities are astonishing," he said.
"Kids want something to do. Human beings want activity, and if they can't find it within their family or their friends, well here they've got grown-up friends. I think neighbours like me have a responsibility to show an interest," he added.