During its third week the Shakespeare Unplugged Festival 2014 offers a full programme of events in Bath for children, teenagers and adults until Saturday 22nd March. A specially commissioned new play inspired by the Bard, live music and a Shakespeare marathon for schools, all feature during the Festival’s final week.
There is still a chance to catch the Theatre Royal Bath’s Young People’s Theatre production of The Winter’s Tale appearing at the egg theatre until Saturday 15th March. Charming, wild and magical – a thriller and a fairytale rolled into one – Shakespeare’s masterpiece is imagined afresh in this bold production presented ‘in the round’ at the egg theatre by an 18-strong cast, directed by Heidi Vaughan.
On Saturday 15th March at The Bell Inn on Walcot Street, Midnight At The Boar’s Head – The Return! takes to the stage. Presented by Fine Chisel, this free event offers an evening of foot-stomping, folk-fuelled storytelling and live music inspired by Shakespeare’s favourite pub The Boar’s Head in London’s Cheapside and the characters you might expect to find there. This performance, which originated at Shakespeare Unplugged 2012, now returns to Bath following award-winning success at the Edinburgh Festival and a UK tour.
On Saturday 15th and Sunday 16th March at the egg theatre, Hammerpuzzle Theatre Company leads a two-day workshop, Breaking Bard. Working as an ensemble, participants will explore Shakespeare today; identifying our voice in 2014, through the words of a writer born 450 years ago.
From Monday 17th March to Thursday 20th March, four primary school groups take on the egg theatre’s Shakeathon challenge. Working with theatre professionals, year 5 and 6 students and their teachers from Batheaston Primary, Freshford Primary and St Keyna Primary will produce a jam-packed Shakespeare marathon, including The Tempest, which will be performed for an audience of family and friends each evening.
The Festival’s finale on Friday 21st March and Saturday 22nd March sees the staging of a brand new play, Resurrection at Burdall’s Yard, located on Bath’s London Road, with five performances daily. Specially commissioned for Shakespeare Unplugged 2014, this new work by writer David Lane has been created in close association with members of the Theatre Royal Bath’s Engage Company and director Heidi Vaughan, one of the egg’s newly created Leverhulme Scholars (http://www.theatreroyal.org.uk/page/3537/The+Incubator).
Resurrection focuses on five of Shakespeare’s most vulnerable characters, all of whom died young, and explores what might have happened if they had lived on to adulthood. Five monologues in this arresting new play take audiences through the horrors of war experienced by Lavinia from Titus Andronicus; the pain of fading beauty felt by Ophelia from Hamlet; the devastating sibling rivalry of one of the boys in the tower in Richard III; the filial duty of Cordelia in King Lear; and the environmental optimism of Arthur from King John.
Nine actors from the Engage Shakespeare Company will perform Resurrection in promenade style at Burdall’s Yard. Audience members are asked to meet at the egg theatre 30 minutes before the performance start time to be escorted to the venue.
Heidi Vaughan directs Resurrection, returning to work with the Engage Company after directing their staging of The House of Bernada Alba last September at the egg theatre.
SHAKESPEARE UNPLUGGED FESTIVAL 2014 runs until 22nd March in the egg theatre and venues across the city. Tickets are available from the Theatre Royal Box Office on 01225 448844, the egg theatre on 01225 823 409 or online at www.theatreroyal.org.uk