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Things to do in the Cotswolds this autumn in Gloucestershire

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The HandleBards – Shakespeare on a bike

Open air theatre in Gloucestershire

Painswick Rococo Garden are preparing themselves for two high-octane summer evenings of cunning schemes, love sickness and cross-dressing, courtesy of innovative theatre company Peculius.

On Wednesday 14th and Thursday 15th August, The HandleBards, their four-strong, all-male troupe of travelling players, will be performing Twelfth Night.

But this is no ordinary travelling troupe, to add to their challenge, The HandleBards, who are supported by the Old Vic Theatre, are also carrying all the required set, props, costumes and camping equipment necessary for a 926 mile journey with them on their bikes, with no back-up vehicle in support. Travelling from Glasgow to London, they will cover a distance equivalent to that between Land’s End and John o’ Groats.

The group is passing through 25 heritage venues across Scotland and England, performing some of Shakespeare’s classics. All set and props used in the productions are restricted only to items that would genuinely be found either on a bicycle or in a campsite, with the team’s bikes being rigged up to power various contraptions onstage. The four HandleBards will play multiple characters in the 1930s-set play, fully engaging showgoers with some unusually energetic audience interaction.

Paul Moir, CEO, at the Rococo Garden said that the Garden Trust is delighted to welcome such an unusual production to the Garden. “We are always interested in any projects that are kind to the environment, but I never would have believed Shakespeare could have been fallen into that category. Having myself cycled from Land’s End to John O’Groats many years ago, these guys must be mad! This production has all the hallmarks of something truly momentous.”

Tickets cost £12 for adults or £10 for concessions and unusually can be used on either night. “With the recent wet summers, we wanted people to be able to buy a ticket in advance, but make a small hedge against bad weather”, says Paul, ‘the chances of two wet nights must be very small even in the UK!”.

The grounds open for picnics at 5.45pm and the play will start at 6.30pm. Tickets can be purchased direct from the Garden on 01452 813204 or via their website.

For further information please contact Paul Moir on 01452 813204 or 07774 640105 - Rococo Garden
Callum Cheatle  07733 266 553 - Peculius

Explore Gloucestershire
31 July 2013


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