There’s less than a week until the Garden Theatre at Calderstones Mansion House is opened for the first time in over 30 years and the stage will be set for Shakespeare’s Globe’s touring production of King Lear. Anticipation is certainly running high and tickets are in demand – find out more about how you can get your hands on some here.
Since April, Lear has played to eager audiences around the country with its eight strong cast, visiting Margate, Bristol, Brighton, Dumfries, Essex, Cambridge and Penrith, and has been further afield to Turkey, Germany, St Lucia and Denmark – a truly worldwide phenomenon! The production has gone from stately homes and castles, to university campuses and festivals over the last few months, and the Garden Theatre at Calderstones will provide a truly beautiful backdrop to the timeless drama of Shakespeare. One of the cast members, Shanaya Rafaat (playing Regan) says that she relishes the ‘challenge’ of performing outdoors:
‘[…] you’re forced to find a new performance vocabulary and a more encompassing technique. Also being outdoors feeds so much into the landscape of the play and that, along with creating all the music and sound effects ourselves, brings you so much closer to how it was originally performed and experienced. One of my favourite bits is standing behind the thundersheet, gently rattling away under the action at the end of part one, and I look up and all I can see is sky.’
We’re hoping that the summer sun will stay shining for Lear at Calderstones, but even if it arrives the rain won’t dampen our spirits. In case of bad weather, audience members are advised to bring raincoats/waterproof clothing and please bring along blankets and cushions so that your seat is comfortable. As there is very limited parking space at the Mansion House, please use public transport where possible – this will prove easier to your journey. Driving to the Mansion House is only advised where absolutely necessary, and please use public car parking if you are doing so. Audience members are welcome to bring their own refreshments for the performance but please note that alcohol will not be permitted.
If you’ve already got your tickets, we know how excited you are but to get you in the mood, here’s an intriguing word from the actor who will be playing the title role of King Lear, Joseph Marcell. Do you know what ‘pother’ means?
‘Let the great gods,
That keep this dreadful pother o’er our heads,
Find out their enemies now.’ – [Lear], King Lear III.ii
Find out on Shakespeare’s Globe’s King Lear on Tour blog, where you can hear Joseph wording it wonderfully and get a definition. There’s tons more goodies in store over there to let you get the lowdown on Lear, including insights about the performances and what it’s like to play these incredible roles from Joseph and Bethan Cullinane, who plays Cordelia and Lear’s Fool, in the Globe’s ‘Discovery Space’ on their website.
Tickets for King Lear on Tour at Calderstones Mansion House on Tuesday 13th and Wednesday 14th August cost £20/£15 concessions, and can be booked via the Shakespeare’s Globe website or by calling 020 7401 9919. A transaction fee of £2.50 will apply to online purchases. Find out more about the performances and our other summer events at Calderstones on The Reader Organisation’s website.