“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)
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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.

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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.