Listings for 2012 at The Dell - the RSC's outdoor theatre

7 June 2012

Listings information for performances at The Dell between Saturday 9 June and Sunday 26 August 2012

On weekends throughout the summer, the Royal Shakespeare Company's outdoor theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon, The Dell, plays host to a range of lively amateur and semi-professional theatre groups from the UK and beyond, all producing their own fresh and fun take on Shakespeare's stories, themes and ideas.

This summer festival of outdoor performances also features performances from Open Stages, the RSC's flagship project engaging with amateur theatre. The Dell has a new performance space as well, a copy of the thrust stage in the Royal Shakespeare Theatre, allowing audiences the opportunity to sit much closer to the action.

Performances kick off on Saturday 9 June, and continue until Sunday 26 August. All performances are free and last no longer than 1 hour 30 minutes

The Dell is situated on the banks of the River Avon in Avonbank Gardens, near Holy Trinity Church.

Members of the public can find out more on The Dell webpage.   

For more press information, please contact:

Mark Farnan
RSC Press Office
01789 272438

Publicity images for some of the productions are available on request from the RSC Press Office.

Saturday 9 June, 12pm and 3pm
The Tempest
Squeaky Door

A father's tale made urgent. A vivid, comical riot of a show that captivates both adults and children alike. Nobles, clowns, villains and elemental spirits weave an isle of sweet airs. Fringe favourites Squeaky Door deliver a production in which an original score and exquisite costume and make-up absorb the audience into a truly magical world.

Sunday 10 June, 1pm
The Merry Wives of Windsor
York Shakespeare Project

The strait-laced town of Windsor is about to be turned upside down. Invaded by a carnival of outlandish characters, the town's inhabitants must learn to loosen up, whether they like it or not. Featuring live folk music, York Shakespeare Project presents one of Shakespeare's best-loved and most uproarious comedies.

Saturday 16 June, 12pm and 3pm
Much Ado About Nothing
Grassroots Shakespeare London

Grassroots Shakespeare Company, founded in 2009 in Utah, USA, delivers shows that are fast-paced, organically evolved, fun, and accessible. Grassroots Shakespeare London launched to great success in August 2011, performing A Midsummer Night's Dream in Hyde Park and Victoria Embankment Gardens and now brings their interpretation of Much Ado About Nothing to The Dell.

Sunday 17 June, 12pm and 3pm
As You Like It
Marooned Productions

Marooned Productions' version of As You Like It was originally performed in February 2012 at the Byre Theatre in St Andrews to a sell-out audience and 5-star reviews. Hailing from that town's famous university, the cast is a mix of undergraduates and older students who work for their academic degrees and rehearse in their spare time (or perhaps the other way round) with many of the members intending to pursue a career in the performing arts.

Saturday 23 June, 12pm and 3pm
Romeo and Juliet
Texas State University

A cast of 13 performers from Texas State University presents Shakespeare's classic tragedy of young love. The production uses imaginative casting techniques, including multiple performers playing the major roles, to emphasise the interpretive flexibility of the text. The 80 minute cutting of the script stresses the youthful impetuosity of the young protagonists and their swift journey toward passion and disaster. The production is directed by Debra Charlton.

Sunday 24 June, 12pm and 3pm
St Paul's Players

In a dystopian city of tomorrow one man holds society together. But the future is in the hands of the young. Dragons is an innovative new production from the St Paul's Players Theatre Company, and part of the RSC's Open Stages season. The production takes the themes from King Lear and throws them into the chaotic future of a world plunged into anarchy following a global financial crisis. The original script has been penned by writer David Heslop and it is being directed by Bristol-based journalist Kirsty Hemming.

Saturday 30 June, 1pm and 3pm
The Canterbury Tales
Playbox Theatre

A company of young actors from the award-winning Playbox Theatre explores this seminal work which influenced Shakespeare and inspired some of his familiar stories. The Canterbury Tales embodies the diversity of a storytelling competition whilst bringing audiences a summer mini-festival of laughter, flirtatious wit, courtly love, knightly codes and above all delightful tales presented in an immediate, colourful and interactive style.

Sunday 1 July, 12pm and 3pm
War of the Roses
Elysium Theatre Company

Elysium Theatre Company'sensemble-led, choral performance takes the audience on a journey spanning a hundred years of history. War of the Roses moves from the melancholy elegance of Richard II through the rebellions, victories and losses of the following plays, and finally into the dark brutality of Richard III.

Saturday 7 July, 1pm and 3pm
Honley Shakespeare Ensemble

In a church somewhere in war torn Eastern Europe in a time not so long ago members of a congregation gather to say their prayers. Worship is interrupted when the church is bombed and the battle between good and evil begins. With a cast of pupils from the Honley High School in Yorkshire, the Shakespeare Ensemble have used active approaches to explore the characters and themes of Macbeth and using two Greek style choruses have created an engaging and interactive interpretation of Shakespeare's bloody tale.

Sunday 8 July, 12pm and 3pm
Caramba Theatre Company

Formed in 2002, Caramba Theatre Company celebrates their tenth anniversary with this production of Shakespeare's lesser known Roman thriller - a tale of power, vengeance and betrayal. Based in Stratford-upon Avon, Caramba perform two to three shows per year in and around the town and has also toured several shows around the West Midlands and the Cotswolds. Caramba's production of Coriolanus has been selected as part of the RSC's Open Stages project.

Saturday 14 July, 1pm and 3pm
A Midsummer's Night Dream
Altru Youth and Community Theatre

A shortened retelling of the classic story with a multi-generational, inclusive cast of actors made up of community members and young people from Liverpool. This vibrant version of A Midsummer Night's Dream is filled with magic, mayhem and all the comedy that Shakespeare intended.

Saturday 28 July, 12pm and 3pm
Measure for Measure
Spinning Wheel Theatre

A tale of morality, pride and justice which draws comparisons with the Gypsy and Traveller community in Britain today, Spinning Wheel Theatre presents a vibrant and energetic retelling of Shakespeare's problem play. Spinning Wheel Theatre is a young company, which aims to create innovative productions and provide creative opportunities in collaboration with rural communities in the East of England.

Sunday 29 July, 11am and 3pm
Romeo and Juliet

Experience the verve and energy of a fast-paced and provocative ensemble piece whichexplores the nature of love, loss and betrayal in a surprising yet timeless story. Two rival environmental services companies are competing for business in a turf war, with no holds barred. The Gloucester Youth Players are part of the RSC Open Stages programme and are proud to be the only youth theatre company in the United Kingdom which performs solely Shakespeare.

Saturday 4 August, 12pm and 3pm
A Midsummer Night's Dream
T S Theatre Productions

'Love looks not with the eyes, but the mind; and therefore is winged Cupid painted blind'. TS T S Theatre Productionswas formed in 2011 with one rule; if you have a good idea then pick it up and run with it as quickly as possible. Join them on an unforgettable journey of love, loss, slapstick, magic and mayhem.

Sunday 5 August, 12pm and 3pm
War of the Waleses

London based KDC theatre group's The War of the Waleses is a piece of new writing setting the events of 20 years ago in the style of a Shakespearean history. Blank verse, sonnets, contemporary news reports, verbatim speeches and the best of 1990s Brit Pop sung and played by wandering minstrels are used to set the scene in this nostalgic, funny and thought-provoking show that makes more than an occasional nod to Shakespeare's text and characters.

Sunday 5 August, 5pm
The Tempest
A Play in 2 Days Theatre Company

Join the newest ensemble of young actors from the RSC as they perform The Tempest. After only two days of working intensively with a professional practitioner, this group of 15 - 18 year olds will create their own version of Shakespeare's epic shipwreck play.

Saturday 11 August, 12pm and 3pm
Much Ado About Nothing
Shooting Stars Theatre Company

Shooting Stars Theatre Company presents one of Shakespeare's funniest and best-loved comedies in a modern context that's accessible to everyone. With the men returning from fighting in Afghanistan, the ever-present battle of wits between Benedick and Beatrice isn't the only game afoot. Performed with customary boundless energy, Shooting Stars' Much Ado About Nothing will provide both humour and heartbreak for an audience of all ages.

Sunday 12 August, 3pm
Much Ado About Nothing
OUDS/Thelma Holt

Shakespeare's 'merry war' of love is re-imagined and re-fashioned by the best of Oxford University's theatrical talent. Coming from the long-established OUDS, this is a production sure to impress, and not to be missed. The battle of the sexes has never been more potent.

Sunday 12 August, 3pm
Dulwich Players

Pericles, Prince of Tyre travels to Antioch to woo the daughter of the King but when a terrible secret is discovered, danger follows. The Dulwich Players take their audience on a journey into strange kingdoms and across perilous oceans where love is lost and found, evil punished and virtue rewarded.

Saturday 18 August, 12pm and 2pm
Shakespeare on Love
Shakespeare Live

Founded in 1989 by a group of experienced amateur actors, Shakespeare Live is a theatre company based in Wiltshire which raises funds for charity by producing open air performances of the playwright's work. Since its foundation the company has raised over £40,000 for charitable causes. For The Dell, a troupe of actors from Shakespeare Live will be performing a medley of Shakespearean sonnets, scenes, sketches and poems all following the theme of love.

Sunday 19 August, 12pm and 3pm
PurpleCoat Productions

PurpleCoat Productions is a Liverpool based company and has produced work which has gained them the thumbs up from the likes of Stephen Fry, Sir Ian McKellen and Richard Wilson. Having headlined the International Youth Arts Festival, PurpleCoat is reviving its production of Titus Andronicus as part of the RSC's Open Stages project and now brings its imagining of A Midsummer Night's Dream to The Dell.

Saturday 25 August, 1.30pm and 4pm
Mechanicals Theatre

The Mechanicals – four acting graduates from the University of Northampton - perform a visually interesting and entertaining adaptation of Cymbeline. Imogen's world is one of oppression in her father's England and it isn't until she breaks away from it that she can finally make her own decisions. But at what price? This is a modern telling of an age old story - an absent father, a wicked stepmother and a banished lover all mixed in with an abundance of mistaken identities which leaves the audience wondering who will come out on top.

Sunday 26 August, 12pm
Perdita and Florizel
Priory Theatre

The Kenilworth Based Priory Theatre celebrates its 80th anniversary next year but its production of The Winter's Tale in October 2011 was the first Shakespearean play in the company's long history. Now involved in the RSC's Open Stages initiative, the Priory brings the characters of Perdita and Florizel from The Winter's Tale to The Dell in a brand new production where a jealous king and thwarted lovers find themselves at the centre of a sheep-shearing festival. With the infamous Autolycous around, the sheep are not the only ones to be fleeced.

Sunday 26 August, 3pm
Henry IV Part 1
Kings Troupe

It's 1402 and a new King has seized the crown but with threats of invasion in the air and grumblings from disgruntled subjects his throne is far from secure. The King's Troupe is an inter-generational amateur theatre company specialising in the performance of Shakespeare. The Troupe's production of Henry IV Part 1 is set in pubs and palaces and is one of farcical robberies, drunkenness, song, intrigue and battles.

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