Roses Theatre Celebrates Shakespeare’s 400-Year Legacy
To celebrate the 400th anniversary of the Bard’s death, The Roses Theatre in Tewkesbury present a summer season of Shakespeare, combining live performances, film, live screenings, participatory activities and visual arts.
Following the success of last summer’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, critically acclaimed MadCap Theatre productions are back in Tewkesbury with an open-air production of one of the Bard’s finest comedies: Much Ado About Nothing (Sunday 24 July, 2.30pm). Established in 2012, MadCap Theatre Productions is a touring company based in North Worcestershire which brings quality, professional productions to various venues across the nation. Shakespeare is always made understandable and enjoyable with their fun, fast paced and entertaining theatre that combines comedy, music, dance, and stage combat. The audience is welcome to attend a barbeque hosted by Redsixy at Victoria Pleasure Gardens prior to the performance at 12.30pm. GB Theatre Company also present an open air drama this season: Romeo & Juliet (Thursday 4 August, 7pm). Ten actors lift Shakespeare’s words off the page and bring them to life. GB Theatre Company was formed in 2010 by Barrie Palmer who has performed with The Royal Shakespeare Company in Stratford-Upon-Avon and the West End. Comedy and tragedy come together to form this ever popular play, enhanced by live music.
Shakespeare’s work can be taken in various different directions as demonstrated by a couple of the upcoming productions in this special season. Award winning comedian Tim FitzHigham commemorates the 400th anniversary with Shakespeare’s Stand Up (Saturday 30 July, 8pm), a one man comedy show featuring wild Morris dancing, near death experiences, arrest and injury. In addition, Oddsocks’ hilarious musical adaptation of Macbeth (Tuesday 30 August, 7pm) is brought vividly to life in an orderly and steampunk-style world of value and decency. Oddsocks have been touring for 27 years with their unique style of inimitable comedy and this year’s Macbeth promises to be no exception.
It’s never too early to introduce the whole family to Shakespeare, and Box Tale Soups’ A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Wednesday 31 August, 2.30pm) is an ideal place to start. The audience will be transported to a world of mirth and magic where Shakespeare’s language is made accessible to a younger audience through the use of beautiful handmade puppets, physical theatre and original music. Formed in 2012, Box Tale Soup seek to create productions that are affordable without
being compromised in quality or originality; in the world of Box Tale Soup even the most familiar stories are not quite as they seem.
Kicking off the live cinema screenings is The Kenneth Branagh Theatre Company’s Romeo & Juliet (Thursday 7 July, 7.15pm). Reuniting the starts of his celebrated film of Cinderella, Branagh directs Richard Madden and Lily James as Romeo and Juliet and Sir Derek Jacobi as Mercutio. Melly Still directs Shakespeare’s rarely performed romance, Cymbeline (Wednesday 28 September, 7pm) – a ruler of a divided Britain and Antony Sher returns to the RSC to play King Lear (Friday 14 October, 7pm), one of the greatest parts written by Shakespeare. In addition The Roses is delighted to be screening live opera from Glyndebourne for the first time and in Berlioz’s Béatrice et Bénédict (Tuesday 9 August 6.30pm) he has selected the funniest elements of Much Ado About Nothing and set them to ravishing music to create this witty love-hate duel.
The Bard was of course best known for his words, but that didn’t stop silent filmmakers from bringing his stories to life; Silent Shakespeare (Monday 15 August, 7.30pm) is a selection of the earliest surviving screen adaptations, restored from rare nitrate prints held in the BFI National Archive, including beautiful examples of hand stencilling, tinting and early special effects that still have a magical allure about them today. Other film offerings in this special Shakespeare season include Shakespeare: The Animated Tales (Saturday 23 July, 2pm), which captures some of Shakespeare’s best loved plays as 30 minute miniatures, and Ran (Thursday 11 August, 7.30pm) Akira Kurosawa’s epic medieval masterpiece inspired by King Lear.
For those who want to completely immerse themselves in the plays, The Roses is offering two brilliant workshops for young people. In Witches, Fairies, Soldiers And Ghosts (Thursday 28 July, 10am-1pm) veteran of the Royal Shakespeare Company and English Shakespeare Company, Emma Cleasby, will take all of The Bard’s most colourful characters and well known stories to create a whole new play. In Translate & Update (Saturday 17 September, 10am-4pm) with Youth Theatre Officer Mike Greenman participants will explore some of the most famous scenes and speeches scripted by Shakespeare and bring the dialogue into the twenty first century.
Lastly, the Inspired By The Bard exhibition (Monday 22 August – Monday 19 September) is expected to be very exciting and diverse as it’s inspired by a character, line or theme from Shakespeare. Similarly to The Animal Within exhibition earlier this year, entries for this exhibition have been invited from a mixture of high calibre professional artists, as well as local schools and community groups.
27 June 2016
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