“What light through yonder window breaks?”: Romeo and Juliet arrives soon!

Lovers everywhere pay heed – The Globe on Tour’s production of Romeo and Juliet is around the corner, with just over a month to go until Shakespeare’s most famous and most tragic lovers arrive to take the stage in Liverpool at Calderstones Mansion House.

So far the cast have brought the show far and wide since they opened at Theatre Clywd in Wales, from Austria to Norway to the Spoleto Festival in Charleston, South Carolina. They find themselves back on home soil in Stoke-on-Trent this week, and we’re hoping the sun will keep shining to recreate the beautiful scenes seen from their performances at the Brighton Festival in May.

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The cast of Romeo and Juliet take the stage at Brighton Open Air Theatre (credit: Vic Frankowski)
R&J 3
Cassie Layton as Juliet with The Globe on Tour at Brighton Open Air Theatre (credit: Vic Frankowski)

If you’re yearning to know more, The Globe on Tour has lots of goodies on their website, including video trailers and interviews with Sam Valentine (Romeo) and Cassie Layton (Juliet). Sam was also quizzed on Twitter in a special #AskRomeo Q&A recently – no need to fear about missing out, as all of the questions and answers, featuring exclusive pictures of the cast on their travels, have been compiled in this handy Storify:

Romeo and Juliet will be at the Garden Theatre at Calderstones Mansion House on Friday 24th and Saturday 25th July (matinee and evening performances on Saturday 25th). Tickets cost £20 and can be booked from The Globe’s website or by calling The Globe Box Office on 020 7401 9919.

To keep up to date with Romeo and Juliet on their travels, follow @GlobeOnTour

 

The Globe on Tour presents Romeo and Juliet at Calderstones Mansion House

“Love is a smoke raised with the fume of sighs;
Being purged, a fire sparkling in lovers’ eyes;
Being vexed, a sea nourished with loving tears.
What is it else? A madness most discreet,
A choking gall, and a preserving sweet.”

Valentine’s Day might have passed for another year but we’ve got one of literature’s greatest love stories very much on our minds with some exciting news…

After two previous spellbinding visits, we’re delighted to announce that Shakespeare’s Globe is returning to Calderstones Mansion House this summer with the Bard’s classic and arguably most popular tale of two star-crossed lovers, Romeo and Juliet.

r&j print

Following the versions of King Lear and Much Ado About Nothing that proved to be surefire crowd-pleasers with audiences in Liverpool, The Globe on Tour will visit the Garden Theatre again in July to present the tragic but compelling story. Following performances on the Globe’s stage, a small troupe of travelling players are taking to the road to perform a stripped-down version unlike anything seen before, breathing new life into one of the greatest of all love stories.

We’re sure you’re aware of how the tale goes, but in case you need a reminder…

An ongoing feud between two noble families, the Montagues and the Capulets, sets the scene for
Shakespeare’s first great tragedy on the streets of Verona. A violent street brawl between their rival families is the prelude to Romeo’s first encounter with Juliet. Despite this, and the fact Juliet has been promised to another, they fall in love. But any plans for their future happiness are cruelly destroyed by renewed violence between their families and tragedy begins to unfold.
The honour of playing the famous lovers falls to the appropriately named Samuel Valentine as Romeo and Cassie Layton as Juliet, joining a list including Adetomiwa Edun (Merlin, The Hour) and Ellie Kendrick (Game of Thrones, Being Human, The Diary of Anne Frank) who starred in The Globe’s previous production and of course star names including Leonardo DiCaprio and Claire Danes in what is considered to be the most-filmed play of all time.
If last year’s reviews are anything to go by, the Garden Theatre at Calderstones will provide the perfect romantic backdrop to set the scene:
Had a brilliant night watching ‘s ‘s beautiful outdoor theatre at . Magical!
Tickets for Romeo and Juliet at Calderstones Mansion House are now on sale, here’s the information on how you can get yours:
Ticket price: £20
(£15 concessions)
To purchase tickets online, please visit the Shakespeare Globe’s website. Note: there is a £2.50 transaction fee for online bookings.

Please contact The Globe’s Box Office on 020 7401 9919 if you want to book for a Group; if you require access bookings; if you have children U18 or would like to use Theatre Tokens.
N.B. Concessions do not apply to Senior citizens for theatre performances. Discounts cannot be applied retrospectively.

 

Shared reading group members and volunteers

The Reader Organisation has a limited number of £15 discounted tickets for shared reading group members and volunteers which can be obtained through your group leaders. Please note: these tickets are not available through The Globe’s website, only physically through group leaders.

The performances will take place outdoors so please bring a picnic rug or low-backed seat and suitable clothing for all weather conditions. The plays will go ahead in all but the most extreme weather conditions.

Tickets are likely to go fast, so make sure you snap yours up quickly!

We’ll keep you posted with all the news in the months to come, but in the meantime you can join in the conversation on Twitter using the hashtags #RomeoandJuliet and #GlobeOnTour

“There was a star danced…” – Much Ado wows the Garden Theatre at Calderstones

The stage for Much Ado at the Garden Theatre (credit: @willowsh on Twitter)
The stage for Much Ado at the Garden Theatre (credit: @willowsh on Twitter)

“For man is a giddy thing, and this is my conclusion.”

We certainly had a most giddy time at the end of last week as we welcomed The Globe on Tour back to Calderstones Mansion House for their touring production of Much Ado About Nothing. Bard buffs, literary lovers and those who fancied a detour from football fever entered the Garden Theatre to enjoy one of Shakespeare’s liveliest and most well-loved comedies.

It was lucky enough that the sun shone down – with just a few showers here and there – providing us with the perfect backdrop to proceedings out of doors on a wonderfully authentic Shakespearean stage, and the glorious sounds of many a musical instrument rang out around the Garden Theatre as the merry band of players brought us the story of Much Ado over five performances on three days.

The eight strong cast entertained the crowds with aplomb, with Simon Bubb and Emma Pallant putting in stellar performances as the warring would-be lovers Benedick and Beatrice, and local connections coming from Sam Phillips, who played Claudio. Fittingly for a play that is full of fooling and people taking the place of others, the cast switched between characters throughout – perhaps the most inspired change of roles came from Chris Starkie, who played both the dastardly villain Don John and the perennially confused Dogberry.

Enjoying the show and a fair few ice-creams in the sunshine, our audience were keen enough to let us know what they thought on Twitter:

Had a brilliant night watching ‘s ‘s beautiful outdoor theatre at . Magical!

Fab afternoon watching Much Ado!!! 🙂 what an amazingly talented cast!!! 🙂 Bravo!!! 🙂

Basking in the afterglow of a tremendous Much Ado from and (s)

Much Ado in full swing at the Garden Theatre at Calderstones (credit: @shell_here on Twitter)
Much Ado in full swing at the Garden Theatre at Calderstones (credit: @shell_here on Twitter)

There were also fabulous 4* reviews from Catherine Jones of the Liverpool Echo, who called the production ‘quirky and charming’, as well as David Sedgwick from The Public Reviews:

“It’s certainly no mean feat to have the audience in stitches after a mere four centuries have passed. Having said that to extract that comedy requires a level of performance and direction of the utmost deftness. The laughs are all hard-earned. […] This Much Ado then is nothing if not accessible. Yet the play still ripples with profundity, still revels in linguistic musicality and still dazzles with intellectual dexterity.”

It’s been another amazing Shakespearean experience in the Garden Theatre, and we hope that everyone at Osbourne House in the Isle of Wight will have as much fun when the show rolls up there later this week as we did at Calderstones.

There’s no stopping at the Mansion House as our summer programme of events is now online for you to take a look at. From concerts to heritage walks around Calderstones Park, a host of Summer School Sizzlers and our very first Children’s Literature Festival in The Secret Garden of Stories this August, there’s something for everyone to enjoy – and we hope that the weather holds up, but regardless there’s lots of fun in store.

For more information of all of our events at Calderstones this summer, head to our Events calendar: http://www.thereader.org.uk/events

 

 

Much Ado About Nothing: Only two weeks to go!

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Much Ado About Nothing by The Globe on Tour at Brighton Festival

The countdown has now begun!

The Globe on Tour is returning to Calderstones Mansion House this June for five remarkable performances of Much Ado About Nothing. Following last year’s showstopping version of King Lear, the Garden Theatre will once more be brought to life with one of Shakespeare’s liveliest and most well-loved comedies – all in less than two weeks time.

Performances

Thursday 12th June, 7:30pm

Friday 13th June, 2:30pm

Friday 13th June, 7:30pm

Saturday 14th June, 2:30pm

Saturday 14th June, 7:30pm

Driven along by a romance all the more charming for being in denial, Much Ado About Nothing is a miracle of comic and dramatic suspense and gives us, in the bantering  Beatrice and Benedick, two of Shakespeare’s wittiest, most endearing pair of lovers.

BOOK NOW TO AVOID DISAPPOINTMENT!

Bookings can be made on The Globe’s website https://tickets.shakespearesglobe.com

Full priced tickets: £20

Discounted tickets for group members: £15

Further information

This spectacular performance is taking place in Calderstones Mansion House Garden Theatre, and will go ahead in all but the most extreme weather conditions. Audiences are advised to prepare for any weather conditions – waterproof and warm clothing should be packed as necessary – and please bring a seat or picnic blanket with you to ensure maximum comfort.

A limited number of tickets may be available to purchase on the door for each performance – however, this will depend on demand.

Access to the performance space will be via the back gate at the back of the Mansion House, off the main path opposite the Coach House. We will have TRO volunteers on the day directing you to the entrance.

The Reader Café will be open until the start of the performance, we will also be serving light refreshments and ice creams at the interval.

Please use public transport where possible as there is limited parking in the Calderstones Park car park. The park is served by bus numbers 61, 68, 168, 75, 75E, 76, 76A, 86D which will take you to Menlove Avenue. The Mansion House garden is only a short 5 minutes walk from the main road.

_MG_9867For more information on Much Ado About Nothing please visit our website: www.thereader.org.uk/events

If you want to see what Shakespeare out-of-doors looks like, take a sneak peek at some exclusive photographs from the performances of the show from Brighton Festival last week. They’re up on our Facebook page now – and we promise very few spoilers.

Plus, if you fancy reminding yourself of the play before you come to see the performances come along to…

Much Ado About Nothing: Read the Play in a Day!
10am – 4pm, Saturday 7th June 2014

Calderstones Mansion House, Liverpool

£30 / £15 concessions (including lunch)
*Special 10% discount on your space when a friend who’s new to Short Courses books a space*

  • Does the idea of reading Shakespeare leave you feeling shaky?
  • Read some plays before, but you’re a bit rusty?
  • New to Much Ado about Nothing?
  • Need a refresher before Shakespeare’s Globe’s performances at Calderstones Mansion on 12th-14th June?

Come join us for a rip-roaring, confidence-boosting, all-embracing ‘Play in a Day’ Saturday.

Led by The Reader Organisation’s Founder and Director, Jane Davis, and a team of our Shakespeare-loving staff, we’ll take over Calderstones Mansion together reading Much Ado About Nothing. And you never know, with your new-found confidence, you may even feel inspired to tread the boards yourself before the day is through!

No advance reading required. All-ages, backgrounds, experience with Shakespeare welcome!

For more information or to book your place contact Jenny Kelly at jenniferkelly@thereader.org.uk or 0151 207 7207.

Lear at the Mansion House: Tonight’s the Night!

The decks have arrived at the Garden Theatre
The decks have arrived at the Garden Theatre

The day has arrived – tonight we’ll be bringing Shakespeare’s Globe’s production of King Lear to Calderstones. With only hours to go, the Mansion House and the Garden Theatre – which will be unveiled for the first time in 30 years for the show – is already a hive of activity, with the stage making its way in and being assembled as we speak.

The whole of Liverpool is excited by the prospect of Shakespearian drama happening in the heart of the city, so it’s no surprise that the performances of Lear are completely SOLD OUT. There won’t be any extra tickets available on the door of the Mansion House tonight or tomorrow, so if you didn’t get one please don’t come along as we wouldn’t want to leave anyone disappointed.

Performances begin at 7.30pm and are due to finish at around 10.30pm. There is very limited parking at the Mansion House so all attendees are advised to use public transport wherever possible for the journey to and from the show. If you do need to drive, please use public parking facilities (there are two small public car parks off Calderstones Road and Yewtree Road).

Don’t forget to bring folding chairs, blankets and cushions to sit on and refreshments can be brought along (but alcohol is not permitted). We weren’t too pleased that the rain clouds gathered this morning, but fingers crossed for them to lift…just in case, don’t get caught out – dress appropriately for the outdoors, in warm and waterproof clothing.

king learIn the remaining hours, there’s just enough time to whet your appetite further. If you haven’t got a copy of Lear to hand don’t fret as we’ve got some interviews with the cast on our Facebook page to keep you excited – you can see Bethan Cullinane (Cordelia/Lear’s Fool) chatting about her favourite scene, Ruth Everett (Goneril/Curan) telling us what it’s like to perform out of doors and King Lear himself, Joseph Marcell, attempting to sum up the play in just one sentence – it’s a tricky job… Joseph also spoke to the Liverpool Echo last week about the prospect of performing at the Garden Theatre and in Liverpool after being away for over 30 years.

If you didn’t manage to get your tickets for Lear, don’t be disappointed as you can still enjoy lots of great activities at Calderstones over the summer. Listen to Reader Places Manager Sophie Povey and Creative Coordinator Roisin Hyland talking to Sean Styles on BBC Radio Merseyside (around 1 hour and 30 mins in) about everything that’s coming up at the Mansion House, including our Summer Fair on Saturday 31st August.

Stay tuned to Twitter for all the info coming from #Lear at the Mansion House – follow us on @thereaderorg and @CaldiesMansion.

There’s nothing left to say except enjoy the show – and we’ll see you there!

Lear is nearly here at Calderstones Mansion House

Shakespeare's Globe cast of King Lear (c. Ellie Kurttz)
Shakespeare’s Globe cast of King Lear (c. Ellie Kurttz)

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

Shanaya Rafaat (Regan), Joseph Marcell (Lear) and Bethan Cullinane (Cordelia/Lear's Fool)
Shanaya Rafaat (Regan), Joseph Marcell (Lear) and Bethan Cullinane (Cordelia/Lear’s Fool)

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.

Shakespeare’s Globe Presents King Lear on Tour at Calderstones Mansion House

GT_OT_Logo_Grass_RGB_72King Lear – Shakespeare’s Globe on Tour
Calderstones Mansion House Garden, Calderstones Park, Liverpool L18 3JD ‎
7.30pm, Tuesday 13th and Wednesday 14th August

We are delighted to announce that the Garden Theatre at Calderstones Mansion House will be re-opened for the first time in over 30 years by the world renowned Shakespeare’s Globe award-winning small-scale touring production. They are bringing King Lear, Shakespeare’s ultimate tragedy, to The Garden Theatre at Calderstones Mansion House on Tuesday 13th and Wednesday 14th August 2013, as part of its summer tour across the UK and Europe.

Old King Lear, weary of royal duties, proposes to break up his kingdom and divide it among his three daughters. But this rash generosity is cruelly repaid and Lear discovers too late the false values by which he has lived and, in turn, the suffering common to all humanity. Its tempestuous poetry shot through with touches of humour and moments of heartrending simplicity render King Lear as one of the deepest artistic explorations of the human condition.

“No man will ever write a better tragedy than Lear” – George Bernard Shaw

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King Lear (c. Ellie Kurttz)

The first time the play has been produced for a small scale tour, the eight strong cast features Joseph Marcell as Lear, best known as Geoffrey in The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air and last at the Globe in Much Ado About Nothing, and screen actor Rawiri Paratene, star of the Whale Rider, as Gloucester. The production is directed by Bill Bucklehurst, well known at Shakespeare’s Globe where he has directed Hamlet with Dominic Dromgoole and played Antipholus in The Comedy of Errors.

Globe Theatre On Tour, Shakespeare’s Globe is a faithful reconstruction of the open-air playhouse for which he wrote many of his greatest plays, situated on Bankside, London. For the last five years Globe Theatre On Tour have taken productions to castles, festivals, parks and town squares. Previous productions have included Henry V, Anne Boleyn, As You Like It and Hamlet (2012), and this production of King Lear will feature an Elizabethan style booth stage, inspired by paintings and etchings from Shakespeare’s time.

‘The Globe does something else to a play: it makes it a communal, shared experience and when a show fires up as this does, there’s nowhere better to be.’ –  Sunday Express

The touring production of King Lear is an astounding addition to our schedule of summer events at Calderstones Mansion House and is the first of many performances we hope to host at the Garden Theatre.

Tickets for the performances cost £20/£15 concessions (Get Into Reading group members/staff/senior citizens/students/unemployed) and can be booked via the Shakespeare’s Globe website or by phoning the Globe Box Office on 020 7401 9919. There is a transaction fee of £2.50 for online purchases.

Audience members are advised to bring blankets to use during the performance, and to use public transport where possible as there is very limited space in the public car park. Feel free to bring your own refreshments, but please leave alcohol at home.

Join in the conversation on Twitter by using the hashtag #Lear