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 Gallery (1) (Julian Foxon Photography)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.

Silly Songs Gallery (3) (Julian Foxon Photography)


“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