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During the summer month weekends, the Royal Shakespeare Company’s outdoor theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon, The Dell, will play host to a range of lively student, community and semi-professional productions.  Performances kick off on Saturday 1 June, and continue until Sunday 1 September. 

This year features several productions captioned by The Difference Engine, a free app that enables audiences to receive captions on their own mobile devices. More information available

The Dell is situated on the banks of the River Avon in Avonbank Gardens, near Holy Trinity Church. Entrance is free. Visitors are invited to bring their own food, chairs or blankets. 

Members of the public can find out more at  

For more press information and images from some of the productions, please contact:
Emily Magdij
RSC Press Office
01789 412657


Saturday 1 June, 12 noon and 3pm
Chalice Productions
A Midsummer Night’s Dream
When local girl, Hermia, falls for Lysandra - a proud female warrior accompanying her Queen ahead of Hippolyta’s wedding to Theseus, Duke of Athens - two worlds collide as the ancient law of male-centric Athens is jarred by the passion and the will of the female-governed Amazons.


Sunday 2 June, 12 noon and 3pm
The Untitled Theatre Company
The Witches Jaunt
The Witches have a secret, and they need to get it out there! Will you as an audience member help them? Come and join Shakespeare's Witches as they journey through various famous and infamous scenes in this untold, secret gem of a story.


Saturday 8 June, 12 noon and 3.45pm
Tread the Boards
Shakespeare’s Best Bits
From 'O Romeo, Romeo' to 'A Muse of Fire' Tread the Boards bring you snippets of the most beloved scenes, speeches, songs and sonnets to brighten your day. With fun, humour, passion, pride and revelry this is perfect for bard lovers and fans-to-be of all ages. Here you might even fall in love with a piece you've never heard before or find your favourite tunefully woven into the offerings!


Sunday 9 June, 12 noon and 3pm
Not That Strange
DIY Shakespeare
Do It Yourself Shakespeare allows you to see a contemporary William Shakespeare on stage for the first time, brainstorming various ideas for his new plays, and as he jots them down - they come to life on stage. Not That Strange make various well-known Shakespearean scenes more accessible to contemporary audiences, both young and old, putting them into modern contexts, intertwined with modern language, unique twists, original music, social media and new opportunities for the audience to get involved!


Saturday 15 June, 12noon and Sunday 16 June, 12noon
Bad Quarto Theatre Company
Surreptitious Shakespeare
In 1603, a bad version of ‘Hamlet’ was printed in quarto, probably recalled by one of the actors – who didn’t have a very good memory. Surreptitious Shakespeare follows the troupe, trying to reconstruct the play from memory in order to prove themselves as actors as worthy as the adults. Underprepared and underestimating the challenge, they muddle their way through their final rehearsal before opening night, trying to remember the most iconic lines and juggling the subplots, when only a few of them have actually seen the play.


Saturday 15 June, 3pm
Hereford College of Arts
The Wrath of Love
David Garrick was born in Hereford on February 19th 1717, and is still well known today for his Shakespeare Jubilee putting Stratford on the map. 'The Wrath of Love' is inspired by Garrick's 'pageant of characters' and poses the question 'What would happen if Shakespeare's dramatis personae suddenly came to life in the middle of our contemporary world?'. Unrequited love is the central theme and audiences can expect to witness powerful moments from some of Shakespeare's best loved plays, brought to life by a vibrant cast of young performers.


Sunday 16 June, 3pm
Gobstoppers Theatre Company
The Tempest
An hour's version of this popular play played by GCSE drama students to appeal to students and young people, presented by The Dell veterans Gobstoppers Theatre Company.

This all-female interpretation explores how humans cope with extremes on many different levels and how they learn that the seemingly impossible is now possible. How can Miranda, learn about the real world and connect with them? Will Caliban get his revenge on Prospero in the end? With larger than life characters, multi rolling, minimalistic staging and colourful, traditional costumes, come and see this magical and mysterious journey with exciting physical theatre sequences and live music and song, this is a show not to be missed by all the family.


Saturday 22 June, midday to midnight
Midsummer Revel

On the weekend of the summer solstice, discover what happens when you step off the beaten track and into a timeless realm of music and magic. The Midsummer Revel is a special RSC event to celebrate the height of summer and the theatrical themes of Crooked Dances in The Other Place.


Saturday 29 June, 12 noon and 3pm
Arclight Drama Studio
Romeo and Juliet
“For never was a story of more woe than this of Juliet and her Romeo.”

The Montague and Capulet families are at war. When Romeo Montague and Juliet Capulet meet by chance, the two lovers defy their entire world to be together. See this captivating version of Romeo and Juliet by The Dell veterans Arclight Drama Studio, bringing their fourth play to the stage, complete with live, original music.


Sunday 30 June, 12 noon and 3pm
Partners Rapt
As You Like It
Partners Rapt brings an exciting new production of As You Like It to The Dell, encapsulating the mythical nature of the forest and the trials and tribulation characters go through during the play. This graduate company will demonstrate through their energetic, playful style how timeless this story really is. Using live music and song the performance will give audiences a chaotic, fast paced and personality filled production, full of the joys of summer!


Saturday 6 July, 12 noon
The BRIT School
Julius Caesar
This version of Julius Caesar investigates the rise to power and death of Lenin and the beginning of Stalin’s regime. It investigates Lenin and Stalin’s parallels between Julius Caesar and Octavius Caesar. The performance is set in a 1930’s gulag in which the inmates use the text of the play to explore their circumstances.


Saturday 6 July, 3pm
The BRIT School
A Midsummer Night’s Dream
A dark and nightmarish interpretation of A Midsummer Night's Dream: the world is turned on its head, the people who mean most to you suddenly appear to have turned against you while you were asleep, nature itself is in rebellion, and strange things happen that are more easily explained by fairies than by human behaviour. 


Sunday 7 July, 12 noon
The BRIT School
Kate (The Taming of the Shrew)
A gritty, sweaty retelling of The Taming of the Shrew, set in an all-female boxing gym. The women gather every week to box, but after discovering a speech about being submissive, they decide to stage the play to find the sense in this world of power and the patriarchy written by Shakespeare. This is a tale of the battle of the sexes, and it’s sure to end in a knockout.

Sunday 7 July, 3pm
The BRIT School
Troilus and Cressida
The Trojan War, the defining legend of western literature, is stripped to its raw heart in Shakespeare’s scathing satire on glory, chivalry and doomed love. After seven years of fighting, the Greeks and the Trojans have reached a stalemate. As each side develops a new thirst for bloodshed, they also discover that heroes and heroines do not only fall on the field of battle. In a world of war that has lost its morals, compassion and sanity. When man has become a savage following baser instincts.  What are we left with worth fighting for?  What do we follow when the rules are broken?  What hope can we still hold on to when everyday may be your last?

Saturday 13 July, 12 noon and 3pm
The King’s Troupe
Henry VI
The King’s Troupe return for their 8th time to the Dell with their performance of Henry VI. There are lots of opportunities to explore different personalities of the messengers who keep on coming in quick-fire succession throughout the play, while several young actors take up the mantle of Joan of Arc, directing the battles.


Sunday 14 July, 12 noon and 3pm
A Midsummer Night’s Dream
A Midsummer Night’s Dream focuses on the story of the fairies and the mechanicals. Titania and Oberon’s marriage is on the rocks. In an attempt to get back in his wife’s good graces Oberon commissions a group of amateur actors to stage a play about love. However, the god is infuriated by Titania’s unwillingness to compromise and invasion of his privacy. He takes revenge on Titania casting a spell on her that makes her fall in love with an ass. Take original Shakespeare’s text, some modern humorous twists plus colourful costumes, and you will get our show.


Saturday 20 July, 12 noon and 3pm
Rendered Retina
King John
Join Rendered Retina as they show you why King John should be considered one of Shakespeare’s best plays, if not his greatest. Marriage. War. Betrayal. Someone running too fast and falling off a roof. A character with a rude name. What’s not to love? The company bring to life this misunderstood classic, and show that this play is as tragic as Othello, as intelligent as Hamlet and as brutal as Titus Andronicus. Using original songs, a large wooden box and way too many hats, they will attempt to prove once and for all that Shakespeare was infallible in this highly energetic, playfully chaotic and gloriously silly adaptation.


Sunday 21 July, 12 noon
Drama Impact Theatre
Much Ado About Nothing
Returning from the wars Don Pedro’s men are invited to stay at least the month at Signior Leonato’s house and hopefully events may detain them longer. Confirmed bachelor Benedick, hero of the moment Claudio, Don John, Pedro’s villainous brother of few words are amongst the guests of honour. Beatrice assaults Benedick with arrows of piercing wit much to the amusement of those gathered. Thereafter, passionate tales of young and mature love, battling wits and two explosive sub-plots takes place in a compelling and witty drama suitable for all the family. 


Sunday 21 July, 3.15pm
Encompass Theatre Collective
Twelfth Night
Twelfth Night is one of Shakespeare’s greatest comedies. Think characters in disguise, complex love triangles, mistaken identities, and you’ve already got a recipe for success.

Acclaimed Italian theatre director Mariagiovanna Rosati Hansen worked with Encompass Theatre Collective to create a unique version of Shakespeare’s classic play. She has constructed a colourful and bold production with gorgeous hand-made costumes, minimal staging and a particular focus on the plight of Malvolio, bullied into madness, and his ability to forgive those who do him wrong.


Saturday 27 July and Sunday 28 July, 12 noon and 3pm
Shake It Up Theatre
The Improvised Shakespeare Show
Using Shakespearean language, audience suggestions and their overactive imaginations, Shake It Up Theatre create a brand-new Shakespeare play live on stage!

Complete with live music, songs and plenty of laughs, they weave together the themes, characters and language of Shakespeare to create some unforgettable Bard-based Bedlam. Every show is a classic Shakespeare would have been proud to write… (probably).


Saturday 3 August 12 noon and 3pm
Sunday 4 August 12 noon – Captioned Performance
The Stratford Shakespeare Company

The Two Gentlemen of Verona
This production combines music, dance and lovely costumes to make you feel like you are really back in Shakespeare’s day - and in the very town where he was born. The Stratford Shakespeare Company has actors from all over the UK as well as the USA, who have trained at some really cool places: Shakespeare’s Globe, The Shakespeare Institute and Birmingham School of Acting to name but a few! The production is fun, and suitable for all ages.

Performance is captioned by the Difference Engine, which runs captions on the users’ smartphones and devices. More information available: 


Sunday 4 August, 3pm
Everyman Youth Theatre
A Midsummer Night’s Dream
Shakespeare's wondrous play is brought to life by the Everyman Youth Theatre. Excited to return to this beautiful setting, perfect for Midsummer Night's Dream, the company of actors explore the dark and mischievous use, and misuse, of magic. This enchanting play will bring chaos, conflict, comedy, and balance to the play; transferring our audiences to another world. Every relationship within the play is tested, but as Shakespeare said, 'The course of true love never did run smooth'. This young company are looking forward to enchanting their audience once more, as the ‘otherworldly’ realm of the fairies, the trials of the lovers and the rehearsals of the mechanicals beguile, give chase and entertain within the cosmos of this magical play.


Saturday 10 August, 12 noon and 3pm
The Wilmore Singers
Twelfth Night
Join The Wilmore Singers for a rollercoaster ride through Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night suitable for the whole family. Romance, late night parties and mischievous schemes unfold accompanied by beautiful renaissance music; love songs, drinking songs and slightly scary ghostly songs! This one-hour version is for everyone, from five to 95, those who know and love Shakespeare’s whole canon and those who have never been to the theatre before. Full of life and vitality, this chamber production remains faithful to the Bard’s text and explores its timeless themes for a 21st century audience. Music played a vital role in Elizabethan performance and the addition of contemporary tunes and songs is a fresh look for seasoned theatregoers and a great introduction for newcomers.


Sunday 11 August, 12 noon and 3pm
The Stroud Shakespeare Festival
The Tempest
“A hey can’t you see, the storm clouds a-gathering? Away haul away, we’ll haul away Joe!”

Eleven fisherman in yellow oilskins and jumpers are preparing for a storm. To while away the time, the crew tell a story of revenge and redemption. Fresh from their open air run at Stroud Shakespeare Festival in June, the in-house cast of The Tempest are delighted to bring their abridged version of Shakespeare's text to The Dell. With a lively acoustic folk band, playing more sea shanties than you can shake a magical staff at, and a diverse cast, with a mix of both professional and community actors, ‘The Tempest’ promises to be an exuberant and joyous show.


Saturday 17 August, 12 noon and 3pm
Naked Will
Love’s Labour’s Won
Six young people live in a topsy-turvy world of romantic freedom, slipping selves on and off at will as they slip in and out of love. However, their playful coming-of age is cut brutally short, and games of misplaced identity turn into a much darker journey of upheaval as war intrudes and they are forced to leave their home. Combining a condensed version of Shakespeare’s Love’s Labour’s Lost with a devised imagining of ‘lost’ sequel Love’s Labour’s Won, this production explores the experience of displacement through the universal need to belong.


Sunday 18 August, 12 noon and 3pm
The Boaty Theatre Company
Much Ado About Nothing
In a post-apocalyptic future, messengers find Dr Leonato - a visionary scientist - at his gated and guarded residence; the hospital he once directed before the world as everyone knew it ended. 

Don Pedro and his men are nearby.  They are returning not from a war, but a salvage mission following the war that ended the world.  Now, they search for survivors, for provisions and for the chance to save the human race.  All in a day's work!

Against a backdrop in which it seems there is no hope at all, love and passion thrive. Wit and humour find a way of weaving the most unlikely of couples together.



Saturday 24 August, 12 noon
Sunday 25 August, 12 noon – Captioned Performance

BMH Productions
Richard III
Set in a dystopian kingdom, this summer BMH Productions reimagine two of Shakespeare’s greatest plays. Richard III is a dark struggle for power in one deeply unhappy family, with bodies left strewn across the floor. In this mess, only someone truly ruthless can rise to the top. A gripping thriller shot through with black humour, Shakespeare’s greatest anti-hero comes to life.

Performance is captioned by the Difference Engine, which runs captions on the users’ smartphones and devices. More information available: 


Saturday 24 August, 3pm
Sunday 25 August, 3pm - Captioned Performance

BMH Productions
Romeo and Juliet
Meanwhile in the same kingdom, the romance of Romeo and Juliet looks like it could bring peace to two warring families until events intervene and tragedy strikes. Romantic, sweeping, action packed.

It’s the ultimate feel-good story – until it all goes horribly wrong.

Performance is captioned by the Difference Engine, which runs captions on the users’ smartphones and devices. More information available: 


Saturday 31 August, 11.15am
Wigan Little Theatre Company
A Midsummer Night’s Dream – A Festival of Shakespeare
A Midsummer Night’s Dream has been re-imagined for modern times. There’s a festival field, love- struck young couples, fairies and some hilarious shenanigans from everyone involved.


Saturday 31 August, 3pm
Chipping Norton Youth Theatre
The Tempest
Chipping Norton Youth Theatre present an ensemble version of a dynamic vision of The Tempest. The role of Ariel will be divided into Earth, Water, Fire and Air to highlight the elemental forces at play. Prospero will be played by a group of young actors who will adopt his contrasting emotions. Caliban will lead a pack of Caliban creatures and the wild dog attack and shipwreck promise exciting choreography.

With complex themes of colonisation, sibling feuding, forgiveness and redemption the Youth Theatre empower the young performers to add their own energy and voice to this classic.


Sunday 1 September, 12 noon and 3pm, 1 hour 30mins
The Edinburgh Graduate Theatre Group
The Merry Wives of Windsor
This uproarious tale of marriage, mischief, jealousy, lies, and laundry, is set in and around George Page’s Steamie, in 1950’s Edinburgh. The irrepressible “Fat Knight,” Falstaff, finding himself in financial peril, woos two women of Holyrood in an attempt to swindle their husbands to regain his squandered wealth. The wily wives are on to him from the start, however, and they plot their revenge with hilarious results. Meanwhile, George and Margaret Page’s daughter, Anne, is pursued by two unlikely suitors, each one approved by her respective parents.  But she prefers another. Will true love win through? Will Falstaff get his comeuppance and finally mend his ways? And will Frank Ford ever accept that wives may be merry yet honest too?

Presented by The Edinburgh Graduate Theatre Group and directed by Angela Harkness Robertson, this production also appears at The Edinburgh Festival Fringe, 5-10 August 2019.



Crooked Dances is supported by the John S Cohen Foundation 

The role of Assistant Director in Crooked Dances is supported by The Nina and Roger Stewart Charitable Trust

The Royal Shakespeare Company creates theatre at its best, made in Stratford-upon-Avon and shared around the world.  We produce an inspirational artistic programme each year, setting Shakespeare in context, alongside the work of his contemporaries and today’s writers.   

Everyone at the RSC - from actors to armourers, musicians to technicians - plays a part in creating the world you see on stage.  All our productions begin life at our Stratford workshops and theatres and we bring them to the widest possible audience through our touring, residencies, live broadcasts and online activity. So wherever you experience the RSC, you experience work made in Shakespeare’s home town.  

We have trained generations of the very best theatre makers and we continue to nurture the talent of the future. We encourage everyone to enjoy a lifelong relationship with Shakespeare and live theatre.  We reach 530,000 children and young people annually through our education work, transforming their experiences in the classroom, in performance and online.  Registered charity no.


Arts Council England is the national development body for arts and culture across England, working to enrich people’s lives. We support a range of activities across the arts, museums and libraries – from theatre to visual art, reading to dance, music to literature, and crafts to collections. Great art and culture inspires us, brings us together and teaches us about ourselves and the world around us. In short, it makes life better. Between 2018 and 2022, we will invest £1.45 billion of public money from government and an estimated £860 million from the National Lottery to help create these experiences for as many people as possible across the country.

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