Comedy group cycle for Shakespeare
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.