Because there are so many native Latin and Aramaic speakers in London.

The Independent is reporting on this ridicularity. Personally, I would worry more about cleaning up after the horses and camels.

On-stage chariot races, herds of horses, camels, vultures, eagles, 400 performers and a supporting cast which includes Jesus Christ, Tiberius Julius Caesar and Pontius Pilate … What else to do but set Ben-Hur the stage show in Latin and Aramaic? The £5m production will show at the 20,000-seat O2 arena in London from 15-19 September.

Only one song in the score – written by Stewart Copeland, formerly a rock drummer for the Police – will be composed in English.

Actors will learn their lines in the ancient language of the Romans and the Jews. A narrator will explain the action in the native language of whichever of the seven countries the play is touring, among them France and Germany, as well as England.

…Boris Johnson, the Mayor of London and a long-time supporter of the continuation of Latin studies, gave his approval to the show.

“Ave! This is a fantastic idea. Cives londinii spectabunt et mirabuntur,” he said. “We have much to learn from the Romans, not least since the horse is the ultimate low-carbon vehicle.”

 

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