Described by none other than Sir Ian McKellen as “uproariously funny”, the HandleBards present Shakespeare’s plays as you’ve never seen them before – fast-paced, irreverent and bicycle-powered.
Since 2013, the HandleBards have pedalled over 5000 miles across the world, carrying all their set, props and costumes on just four bicycles. 2016, the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death, sees the first outing of their all-female troupe. On 19th August they’re stopping off at The Hippodrome, to perform their side-splitting production of Shakespeare’s epic tale of two lovers who’ve everything stacked against them. Expect a “gloriously eccentric and very, very funny” (The Stage, on A Midsummer Night’s Dream) night, delivered on eight very sore legs. The girls will be accompanied by live music from a local musician.
In Verona, the Montagues and Capulets are in the throes of a long-running family feud. In the midst of this two young members of the families – Romeo Montague and Juliet Capulet – fall in love at the Capulet Ball. Even though they know their love is forbidden by their family allegiances, they marry in secret in the cell of Friar Lawrence.
The next day, Tybalt, Juliet’s cousin, challenges Romeo to a duel as he attended the Capulet ball without invitation. Romeo, now Tybalt’s kinsman by marriage, vows not to fight, and his friend Mercutio fights in his place. Tybalt stabs Mercutio, and in a fit of rage, Romeo kills Tybalt, resulting in his banishment from Verona. Juliet, on hearing the news, requests Friar Lawrence’s guidance, to which he suggests she drinks a potion which makes her appear to be dead. He vows to pass on the details of the plan to Romeo, and Romeo and Juliet can escape from Verona and live their lives in happiness. However, the news never reaches Romeo, and instead he hears of Juliet’s ‘death’, returns to Verona to find her lying dead in a crypt, and kills himself with poison. Juliet awakes, sees her husband dead, and stabs herself with his dagger. The families agree to end their long-standing feud, in memory of Romeo and Juliet.
Elle Dillon-Reams – Mercutio, Paris, Lady Capulet, Friar Laurence, Abram, Balthazar
Lianne Harvey – Juliet, Montague, Benvolio, Apothecary
Lizzie Muncey – Romeo, Capulet, Gregory
Lotte Tickner – Nurse, Prince, Tybalt, Sampson, Friar John, Servant