Saturday, 22 September 2018

Double trouble helping of open-air Shakespeare

SUMMER would not be summer without an open air Shakespeare production and this year’s offerings include both tragedy and comedy,

SUMMER would not be summer without an open air Shakespeare production and this year’s offerings include both tragedy and comedy, writes Lesley Potter.

Reading-based Progress Theatre, which has a long tradition of excellence in the genre, presents Macbeth in the atmospheric surroundings of Caversham Court Gardens.

This is the 16th year the company has been staging open-air Shakespeare — previously it performed in the Abbey Ruins — but this summer the production will be much simpler. There will be a stage with lighting, and the action includes a stage fight with swords, but although there are some seats for rent, the audience can bring their own chairs, blankets or ground sheets.

Progress marketing manager Tony Wernham said: “This will be a wonderful production with a highly talented troupe of actors. Now that the sun is out we are excited to be staging one of the highlights of the cultural calendar of the region.”

Macbeth runs from July 18 to 27 and tickets are now available from Reading Arts box office on 0118 960 6060 or online at www.readingarts.com

Meanwhile, the Globe Theatre returns for its sixth visit to the Bodleian Library in Oxford with a summer production of The Taming Of The Shrew.

The play tells the story of two wealthy sisters in Padua who must be married off, and charts the progress of two seemingly mis-matched but equally fiery personalities in the shape of the “shrew”, Katherina, and her outrageous suitor, Petruchio.

The production is performed by an all-female cast, and is directed by award-winning Joe Murphy.

The Taming Of The Shrew runs from July 9 to 21. Box office 01865 305305 or visit www.oxfordplayhouse.com

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