Shakespeare at the Tobacco Factory  (SATTF) is delighted to announce its first national tour during spring 2013, generously supported by the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation who have offered touring funding over a three year period.

Bristol’s nationally renowned company will tour Shakespeare’s early comedy, Two Gentlemen of Verona,  immediately after a five week run at Bristol’s Tobacco Factory. The production, directed by Andrew Hilton and designed by Harriet de Winton, will follow the company’s Richard III (14 Feb – 30 March).

Two Gentlemen of Verona dates:

Tobacco Factory, Bristol                                 4 April – 4 May
The Dukes, Lancaster                                      7 – 11 May
Everyman, Cheltenham                                  14 – 18 May
Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough        28 May – 1 June
Exeter Northcott Theatre                                4 – 8 June
Theatre Royal, Winchester                             11-15 June

SATTF’s Artistic Director, Andrew Hilton, is thrilled at the prospect of bringing, Two Gentlemen of Verona  to a variety of theatre spaces during the company’s first national tour:

‘We are all enormously excited to be embarking on our first national tour, and particularly look forward to the adaptations we shall make en route – from our pillared, in-the-square home in Bristol, to real in-the-round in Lancaster and Scarborough, to the more conventional stages of Cheltenham, Winchester and Exeter. The play is wonderfully engrossing – romantic, funny, and provocative – and we have a terrific team of actors and musicians to bring it to life.’

Andrew Hilton, Director

SATTF will return to the Exeter Northcott Theatre, after a first visit in 2011 with their highly praised production of, The Comedy of Errors.  The company will tour to theatres in Cheltenham, Lancaster, Scarborough and Winchester for the first time.

‘We are over the moon that Shakespeare at the Tobacco Factory are taking their excellent work across the country – not an easy thing to do when there are so few in-the-round theatre spaces. As one of the UK’s leading companies making large cast Shakespeare productions, their work deserves to be seen by a much wider audience.’
Julie Brown, Producer & Communications Manager, The Dukes, Lancaster

“I have seen some wonderful Shakespeare productions by this company over the years and I am delighted that they are coming to Cheltenham as part of their first tour.”
Geoffrey Rowe, Chief Executive, Everyman Theatre Cheltenham

‘We are delighted to welcome Shakespeare at the Tobacco Factory back to the Exeter Northcott Theatre, our audiences will be thrilled to have another chance to enjoy what we know will be an excellent and accessible production.’
Kate Tyrrell, Executive Director, Exeter Northcott Theatre

‘Shakespeare at the Tobacco Factory has built a fantastic national reputation for their vivid and accessible productions so it’s very exciting to welcome them to our theatre in the round in Scarborough on their first ever tour.’
Amanda Saunders, Touring and Programming Director, Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough

“We are very pleased to be one of the tour venues for Shakespeare at the Tobacco Factory’s tour of Two Gentlemen of Verona in 2013. They have a reputation for work of the highest quality and we welcome the chance for Winchester audiences to see this rarely performed play.’
Mark Courtice, Director, Theatre Royal Winchester

Two Gentlemen of Verona
Friendship and love and loyalty and betrayal are the real players in this darkly comic early romance.

Two lifelong friends – the two young gentlemen of the title – are parted first by circumstance, and then by rivalry in love. Can their loyalty to each other survive the test, or will new loyalties drive out the old? How deep into perfidy can one be driven by sexual obsession?

And what do even the most adored of women count for in a profoundly masculine world?  Shakespeare’s vision is both comic and shocking – and extraordinarily modern.

Reviews of SATTF’s The Comedy of Errors 2011:

“Unmissable”  ««««« The Sunday Times
“If you’ve never found Shakespeare’s comedies funny, do try this” «««« The Guardian

Spring Touring 2013 – Booking Information:

April 4 – May 4 Tobacco Factory, Bristol
Raleigh Road, Bristol BS3 1TF
0117 902 0344

May 7-11 Dukes Theatre, Lancaster
The Dukes, Moor Lane, Lancaster LA1 1QE
01524 598500

May 14-18 Everyman Theatre, Cheltenham
Regent Street, Cheltenham, GL50 1HQ
01242 572573

May 28-June 1 Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough
Westborough, Scarborough, N Yorks YO11 1JW
01723 370541

June 4-8 Exeter Northcott Theatre
Stocker Road, Exeter, EX4 4QB
01392 493 493

June 11-15 Theatre Royal, Winchester
21-23 Jewry Street Winchester, Hants SO23 8SB
01962 840440

Shakespeare at the Tobacco Factory

SATTF is unique in the U.K. – a top class professional company performing full-cast classics in an intimate studio space. In its 14-year life it has gained both a national and an international reputation for some of the most vivid and compelling stagings of Shakespeare in the country, and played a key role in the transformation of a once deprived area of South Bristol.

Key SATTF Facts
Since its inception, SATTF has produced 25 Shakespeare plays, 3 Chekhovs, 1 Molière and a Jacobean tragedy. The company has used 100’s of actors and creative professionals with an emphasis on giving graduates from the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School their first professional roles. In 2001 SATTF won a National award – the Empty Space/Peter Brook Award – and the company’s reputation spread throughout the UK and beyond, culminating in the invitation to take its 2004 season production  of Macbeth and The Changeling to The Barbican Centre for a five-week repertory season. SATTF’s audience has increased exponentially over the last 13 years, and its three month Bristol season now attracts audiences in excess of 22,000 annually.

SATTF’s Bristol Old Vic co-production of Chekhov’s landmark Russian classic, Uncle Vanya, was a critical success in 2009 when performed on the historic Theatre Royal stage, reconfigured for the intimacy for which Hilton’s company is famous. The company was invited as one of the centerpieces of The Galway Arts Festival in July 2010 with Uncle Vanya playing to sell-out audiences. Autumn 2010 saw the second collaboration between SATTF and Bristol Old Vic when Andrew Hilton directed Molière’s biting social comedy, The Misanthrope (in the famous Tony Harrison translation), to great critical acclaim. Immediately after the Tobacco Factory 2011 Season The Comedy of Errors transferred to the Exeter Northcott Theatre and in 2012 The Cherry Orchard transferred to the Rose Theatre, Kingston. Both productions received 5 star reviews in the national press.

SATTF’s Education Programme
Season Workshops started in 2001. The workshops run alongside the productions, aiming to encourage, stimulate and inspire young people to participate in the unique world of theatre.

SATTF continually strives to find funding to support the workshops each year and to provide subsidised places for students where possible. SATTF also offers a thriving Education Outreach Programme in schools, colleges and universities.

SATTF is a charity unsupported by public funds and relies heavily on the generosity of its Friends, Private Patrons, Sponsors, Grants and Trusts. The 2013 Bristol season is supported by:  DAC Beachcroft,  Hilton Garden Inn, Wessex Water and Hallgarten Wine. The 2013 Spring tour is supported by the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation as well as a generous donation from a private patron.