When: Until 23rd August 2013
Where: Venues across the UK
£: Ticket prices vary depending on the venue
What is it?
Liven up your summer with cunning schemes, love sickness and cross-dressing, courtesy of innovative theatre company Peculius. The HandleBards, a four-strong, all-male troupe of travelling players, are currently pedalling from Glasgow to London as a world first project; a cycling tour of two of Shakespeare’s greatest plays, Romeo and Juliet and Twelfth Night.
To add to the challenge, The HandleBards are carrying all the required set, props, costumes and camping equipment necessary for the journey on their bikes, with no back-up vehicle in support. By the time they have finished they will have covered a distance equivalent to that between Land’s End and John o’ Groats.
As part of the tour they will be performing at The Dell in Stratford-upon-Avon (the Royal Shakespeare Company’s outdoor playing space), Newark Castle and Rufford Old Hall, where Shakespeare himself performed in 1585.
All set and props used in the productions are restricted only to recycled items that could be found either on a bicycle or in a campsite, with the team’s bikes being rigged up to power various lights and mechanical contraptions onstage. The use of bicycles as transport for the escapade will also save 20.4 tonnes of CO2 emissions, as compared to the same adventure undertaken by car. Shakespeare is truly sustainable in his first ever fully ‘green’ tour. The four HandleBards will play multiple characters in each 1930s-set play, fully engaging showgoers with some unusually energetic audience interaction.
London-based Peculius was founded in 2007 and has built a strong reputation for staging unusual theatre in unusual ways. In 2012 they won the Patrick Murray Award for Outstanding Contribution to Irish Theatre, adding this to various sell-out laurels gained at the Edinburgh Fringe and the Best New Writing award at the Durham Drama Festival.
More info: www.peculius.com/handlebards