Com­edy group cy­cle for Shake­speare

Rutherglen Reformer - - THE TICKET - Mark Pirie

New La­nark World Her­itage Site is set to welcome one of the world’s most ec­cen­tric Shake­speare acts as the Han­dle­Bards cy­cle onto the stage this week­end.

The group will per­form Shake­speare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream on Satur­day, Au­gust 15 in the gar­dens of New La­nark.

For the last two years the fourpiece troupe the Han­dle­Bards have ped­alled the length and breadth of the UK per­form­ing fast­paced, bi­cy­cle-pow­ered Shake­spearean pro­duc­tions. This sum­mer’s tour of Ham­let and A Midsummer Night’s Dream is their most ad­ven­tur­ous yet, as they group cy­cle over 1500 miles as they play 44 char­ac­ters be­tween them.

The group have prided them­selves on an up­beat show, and at the Ed­in­burgh Fringe Fes­ti­val last year were amongst the most crit­i­cally ac­claimed acts for their light-hearted pro­duc­tion.

The Han­dle­Bards also pride them­selves on pro­vid­ing sus­tain­able tour­ing theatre by pow­er­ing their own show.

The group use dy­namos to store the energy from their bikes as they cy­cle to ev­ery show, which are then used to power the event.

As a re­sult, they picked up the 2014 Ed­in­burgh Fringe Sus­tain­able Prac­tice Award.

Paul Moss, the Han­dle­Bards’ tour man­ager, wanted to keep the ecofriendly at­ti­tude of the group go­ing as they pedal into New La­nark.

He said: “This is only the be­gin­ning – we’re now tak­ing our shows to the next level by team­ing up with Elec­tric Ped­als, the bril­liant minds be­hind the orig­i­nal bi­cy­cle-pow­ered set of Dun­can Macmil­lan’s Lungs, di­rected by Katie Mitchell.

“They’ve pow­ered cine­mas and ra­dio sta­tions by bi­cy­cle be­fore – and now they’ll do a full theatre tour – we can’t wait to get go­ing.”

Eve­lyn Whitelaw, New La­nark events and ex­hi­bi­tions of­fi­cer, looks for­ward to the bands visit, stat­ing: “We’re de­lighted to welcome the Han­dle­Bards back to New La­nark af­ter their rum­bus­tious per­for­mance of A Com­edy of Er­rors last year. Visi­tors young and old will love the Han­dle­Bards’ quirky and fun per­for­mance style, so it re­ally is an event the whole fam­ily can en­joy.”

Tick­ets for A Midsummer Night’s Dream are priced at £10 for adults and £5 for con­ces­sions. They are avail­able by call­ing 01555 661345, vis­it­ing www.newla­nark.org or on the door on the night. Doors open at 5pm for pic­nics and the per­for­mance

be­gins at 7pm.

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