Aylesbury theatre group takes Shakespeare on tour for upcoming festival

The group is hosting the first Buckinghamshire Shakespeare Festival
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An Aylesbury-based theatre group is taking Shakespeare on tour for an upcoming festival.

Unbound is presenting the first Buckinghamshire Shakespeare Festival, touring to venues across the county throughout July.

he first annual festival will see Unbound stage a new adaptation of the Bard’s celebrated comedy Much Ado About Nothing, directed by the company’s creative producer Dario Knight.

A performance of Hamlet at Waddesdon Manor last yearA performance of Hamlet at Waddesdon Manor last year
A performance of Hamlet at Waddesdon Manor last year

“Unbound are of course no strangers to Shakespeare,” Dario said. “The Bard’s plays have been part of our extensive calendar of projects every year since 2016. From a one-night-only showcase of speeches and scenes to this year’s month-long tour, it’s been fantastic to see our annual Shakespeare production evolve to cover the whole county.”

Much Ado About Nothing is one of Shakespeare’s best-known plays it tells the tale of former lovers Beatrice and Benedick, who are reunited in Messina – where a merry war of barbed banter begins. At the same time, Benedick’s comrade-in-arms Count Claudio is about to meet the love of his life - but not everyone in the city wishes the union well.

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“Of all of Shakespeare’s plays, this one really has something for everyone,” Dario added: “It’s a brilliantly funny play with plenty of opportunities for physical comedy alongside some of the Bard’s best (and rudest!) wordplay. But it’s also got a dramatic heart with some gripping scenes demonstrating that it’s a play capable of shocking an audience as well as amusing them.”

Another performance from last year's tour at The King's HeadAnother performance from last year's tour at The King's Head
Another performance from last year's tour at The King's Head

Much Ado About Nothing will first be performed at Unbound’s home venue Queens Park Arts Centre in Aylesbury on 14-15 July, before visiting a series of Buckinghamshire venues.

Confirmed for this year’s festival is Wycombe Museum on 16 July, The Nag’s Head in Great Missenden on 21 July, Buckingham Library on 22 July, Waddesdon Manor on 23 July, and Sunnyhill Barn in Rowsham on 28 July.

As well as hardened Shakespeare fans, we want the festival to appeal to people a bit wary of his work too,” said Dario. “If you’ve had a bad experience with the Bard’s plays in the classroom, or have seen one too many productions filled with shouty men in tights, then we’re here to try and win you over!”

More details can be found on Unbound’s website here and on social media @unboundtheatre.

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