The Royal Shakespeare Company ventures outdoors this summer with a busy programme of performances at The Dell on the banks of The Avon at Stratford.
During the summer month weekends the RSC plays host to a range of free lively student, community and semi-professional productions that continue until August 31.
June 14, 1pm and 4pm, Macbeth by The Handlebards
Carrying all their set, props and costumes on just four bikes, The Handlebards will be rocking up with their innovative style in Shakespeare’s incredible tale of ambition, magic and murder.
June 15, noon and 3pm, The Comedy of Errors, The Handlebards
The Handlebards present a wild 1930s indie-folk romp.
June 21, noon, 2pm and 4pm, The Merry Wives of Windsor, Greater Fool
This wonderful, farcical comedy is seldom performed and when paired with this concept with an ever so slightly sceptical edge it’ll appeal to reality TV lovers and haters alike.
June 28/29, noon, At War with Love, Oxford Actors Company
A selection of Shakespeare’s Sonnets set against the turbulent backdrop of World War I.
June 28/29, 3pm, Romeo and Juliet, Birdiedoes
Set in Verona, the greatest love story ever told.
July 5, noon and 3pm, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Midsummer Madness Theatre Company
Performed by students and alumni from The University of Exeter.
July 6, noon and 4pm, Hamlet (The Dark Lady of Denmark),CL Rep Company
A fresh, shortened, contemporary version; set in the world of corporate and political Denmark this revised version looks at Hamlet from a female perspective.
July 12, noon and July 13, 3pm, The Comedy of Errors, Shakespeare Young Company
Made by the company with a visual style inspired by silent movies and slapstick-a-plenty.
July 12, 3pm and July 13, noon, Old Wives’ Tale, Shakespeare Young Company
The worlds of fairy, the supernatural and the sorcerer Sacrapant collide in an evocative night of magic that Peele wrote and Shakespeare will have seen.
July 19, 3pm, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Royal Navy Theatre Association
HMS Victory is anchored in the Bay of Athens and Theseus, the ruler of the city, is to be married in four days’ time with great celebrations planned. The ‘jolly jack tars’ from the ship become involved in the festivities and complications and comedy follow!
July 20, noon and 3pm, Hal, Ingenius Theatre
Hal is a stripped down version of William Shakespeare’s Henry IV Part I. Ingenius Theatre is a new theatre company launched at the beginning of 2011 in Newcastle upon Tyne.
July 26/27, noon and 4pm, The Tempest, Gloucestershire Youth Players
GYP bring fresh eyes and an unexpected twist to the magical and mystical tale of Prospero and Miranda.
August 2/3, noon, Troilus and Cressida, The King’s Troupe
Returning for the second year this intergenerational group from West Yorkshire bring an extravaganza of stilt walking, dancing and a Greek Chorus, providing sung commentary on and off the stage; all woven into the complex story-line of Troilus and Cressida.
August 3, 3pm, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, PurpleCoat Productions
Supported by Richard Wilson, Virgin Media and Stephen Fry, PurpleCoat’s first Youth Theatre production aims to give opportunities to talented youngsters in an innovative and modern twist on Shakespeare’s greatest comedy
August 9/10, noon, Hamlet, Project Shakespeare
August 9/10, 3pm, Romeo and Juliet, Shooting Stars Theatre Company
Shakespeare is stripped down to its gripping core. Be prepared to laugh and cry in equal measure as the inevitable fate of these star-crossed lovers.
August 16, noon and 3pm, The Rain It Raineth Every Day, Shakespeare Live
Using songs, music, sonnets and short scenes from his plays, this production takes a walk through Shakespeare’s use of the four seasons and their accompanying weather.
August 23/24, noon and 3pm, Twelfth Night, BMH Productions
Combining puppetry, music and song let BMH immerse you in a world which is alive, funny, and unpredictable.
August 30, noon and 3pm, The Comedy of Errors, Dulwich Players
Two sets of identical twins, separated at birth, collide in the same city without meeting for one extraordinary day.
August 31, noon and 3pm, The Tempest, Bilton Pantomummers
Playing with the idea that Prospero represents Shakespeare himself he will be constant presence onstage, manipulating events to come.
For more information go to www.rsc.org.uk/thedell