New Old Friends & makin projects
Silly Songs of Shakespeare
In association with Greenwich Theatre, originally commissioned by Theatre Royal Bath
Touring Nationally February 7th – April 27th 2013
Silly Songs of Shakespeare is touring venues up and down the country in Spring 2013 and is exactly what it sounds like; an evening of silly songs about William Shakespeare. Originally commissioned by Theatre Royal Bath’s Shakespeare Unplugged festival, this 90 minute five-star show combines a genuine love of all things Shakespearean with a streak of irreverence as wide as Falstaff’s waist. It is obviously a must for all true Shakespeare buffs, but the fashion in which William is presented will be a delight to any regular comedy or music fans.
When was the last time you saw Romeo & Juliet performed as a rap battle? Or Othello as a flamenco-influenced Mexican soap opera? The wildly original ‘Synopsongs’ (plot summaries in song form) are all written by New Old Friends and the style is a far cry from the dusty world of period costumed actors declaiming bombastic verse. “Fearg and the Sonnettes: The World’s First Shakespearean Tribute Band” look like a classic 60s front man/backing girls group (complete with beehive hairdos) but spout hilarious ditties about the authorship debate, feminism and the Bard, and the schoolroom classic – iambic pentameter.
“I commissioned Silly Songs of Shakespeare for Theatre Royal Bath’s Shakespeare Unplugged festival, and was delighted with the result. The show is a refreshingly humorous look at the works of Shakespeare from 4 people with oodles of talent and a passion for the work, who have clever lyrics, great music and stupid amounts of talent.”
Kate Cross, Director of Theatre Royal Bath’s egg
While co-producers makin projects have a wealth of experience, this is New Old Friends’ debut national tour. The company formed in 2008 as the pioneers of Theatre Royal Bath’s Egg Young Premieres scheme and since then they’ve built a reputation as one of the South West’s premier comedy theatre companies with their anarchic shows Mate, Sketchy at Best, Happy Couple, and notably the record-breaking adult pantomime Anti-Panto. Heather Westwell & Feargus Woods Dunlop, company manager and artistic director respectively, had performed comic song versions of Macbeth & Hamlet as part of their sets at various cabaret nights around the South West to great acclaim. So when they were commissioned by Shakespeare Unplugged to create a show that looked at Shakespeare in a new light they knew the direction they wanted the piece to take. The casting of gorgeous singer-songwriter Bryher and the multi-talented actor musician Kathryn Levell crystallised the idea and ‘Fearg and The Sonnettes’ was born.
“I love performing this show. I’ve been lucky enough to be cast in a number of ‘straight’ Shakespearean productions, which are fantastic, but there is nothing quite like taking this cultural icon and being a bit daft (probably more than a bit daft). I think my personal highlight is the interpretive iambic dance poetry of DeDum”
Feargus Woods Dunlop, New Old Friends
The tour is a co-production between makin projects, who also book the Reduced Shakespeare Company’s tours and New Old Friends. The two companies are proud to have secured a robust 23 date tour without additional income from Arts Council England. Greenwich Theatre have come on board with the project in an associate capacity to lend their considerable expertise in making the show tour-ready, the cast will work at Greenwich in the week before opening night February 7th. The show then tours the length and breadth of the country from Norfolk to Neath, Devon to Middlesbrough, bringing this particular brand of bardic silliness to venues of all shapes and sizes.
|Thur 7th||GREENWICH, Theatre||02088 587755|
|Sat 9th||DIDCOT, Cornerstone||01235 515144|
|Sun 10th||EXETER, Northcott||01392 493493|
|Fri 15th||NEWBURY, Corn Exchange||08455 218218|
|Sat 16th||HEMEL HEMPSTEAD, Old Town Hall||01442 228091|
|Thur 21st||NEATH, Gwyn Hall||03003 656677|
|Tue 26th||BRACKNELL, South Hill Park||01344 484123|
|Weds 27th||MARGATE, Theatre Royal||08451 301786|
|Fri 1st||GOOLE, Junction||01405 763652|
|Sat 2nd||MARKET DRAYTON, Festival Drayton Centre||01630 654444|
|Thur 7th||WELLS NEXT THE SEA, The Granary Theatre||01328 710193|
|Fri 8th||HALESWORTH, The New Cut||08456 732123|
|Sat 9th||WHITEHAVEN, Rosehill Theatre||01946 692422|
|Weds 13th||GUILDFORD, Music Festival||01483 444789|
|Thur 14th||BROMSGROVE, Artrix||01527 577330|
|Fri 15th||WOLVERHAMPTON, Arena Theatre||01902 321321|
|Thur 18th||CAMBERLEY, Theatre||01276 707600|
|Fri 19th||SCARBOROUGH, Stephen Joseph Theatre||01723 370541|
|Sat 20th||CHIPPING NORTON, The Theatre||01608 642350|
|Tue 23rd||MIDDLESBROUGH, Town Hall Crypt||01642 729729|
|Fri 26th||WISBECH, Angles Theatre||01945 474447|