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The Bristol Shakespeare Festival 2019
4th June – 28th July 2019, citywide
The Bristol Shakespeare Festival, now in its glorious 16th year, will once again be providing fabulous summer entertainment for Bristol and beyond! Aimed at a wide cross section of audiences, there will be shows to cater to everyone, from the most serious of fans of the bard to fabulous family friendly fun.
Running from the 4th June to the 28th July at handpicked, sensational locations across the city, Bristol will come alive with a selection of Shakespeare’s timeless and iconic plays performed by some of the best Shakespeare touring companies in the country.
Some Highlights from our 2019 Programme
The festival kicks off in style with Three Inch Fools showcasing Macbeth (7pm on 4th & 6th June) and Much Ado About Nothing (7pm on 5 & 7th June) at Windmill Hill Farm. Five actors, with all manner of musical instruments, present an inventive and energetic take on Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing. So try their rip-roaring comedy of quarrels, deceptions and a frustratingly stupid man called Dogberr, or their fresh take on Shakespeare’s iconic Scottish play. With just days until these amazing shows, don’t miss out!
The Festival’s own original production of Macbeth: the Musical (Wed 24th July – Sun 28th July) continues our tradition of promoting the best of local talent. Expect queens and witches, Queen and B*Witched, ABBA, stabbers, and much more besides. Can Macbeth hold the throne? Will Banquo keep his head in the face of his best friend’s treachery? And most importantly of all … is this a real knife? Or is this just fantasy?
Macbeth is a hilarious ride, suitable for buffs and beginners, wee ones and wizened ones, and Scots and Sassenachs alike! No bagpipes were harmed in the making of this musical!
Coming back to the festival after a fabulous audience response last year, Librarian Theatre give us ‘rapid retelling’ of Henry V (11-14th July) at various libraries across Bristol. Performed over one jam-packed hour by Kelly Eva-May and Tom Cuthbertson, with an original score performed live by one-man / octopus-band Joshua Lucas.
A brilliant, fast paced entry to the world of Shakespeare suitable for absolutely everyone, Henry V brings the Siege of Harfleur and Battle of Agincourt to life among dramatic fight scenes, French accents and little moments of comic fun. The casting is decided live on stage by the flip of a coin, so not even the actors know who is to play the warrior king until the play has begun.
The Raymondos’ present the absurdist comedy Rosencrantz and Guidenstern are Plebs (8pm, Wed 3 & Thurs 4 July) at The Alma Tavern Theatre. Rosencrantz and Guidenstern are Plebs is the story of two nobodies trying to navigate the infamous story of Hamlet, with nothing but their wits, songs and wacky behaviour. But who are these two, where are they and why are there so many hats? These two plebs are about to discover how absurd this story gets!
Over at Brandon Hill Bowling Green, festival stalwarts and nationally renowned The Lord Chamberlain’s Men will be delighting audiences with their beloved all-male production of Midsummer’s Night Dream (7:30pm Fri 26th July). This supernatural comedy of mischievous fairies, confused lovers and rude mechanicals is an intoxicating tale of clarity found from chaos as tangled love gives way to happily ever after.
As a favourite of the festival for many years, and following on from previous sell-out performances, this joyous ensemble are a cornerstone of the festival’s programme in a much-loved and iconic Bristol location of the bowling green at Brandon Hill.
We can’t wait for June and July, with all that lies in store— The Bristol Shakespeare Festival looks forward to welcoming you to a summer of celebrating England’s most-loved playwright. The full 2019 Show Programme can be found here.
About The Organiser
The Bristol Shakespeare Festival (BSF) offers fresh, exciting and accessible ways into Shakespeare. From its in-house productions such as Hamlet: the Musical, to platforming the very best local and national companies, BSF is a volunteer-led celebration of work in unusual spaces across Bristol and beyond. Using local talent and creatives for productions, as well as running its own workshops and educational events, BSF makes work that gives both its audiences and participants entertaining and enriching experience with Shakespeare.
Tickets for all performances can be booked via our ongoing partnership with www.ticketsignite.com. Tickets Ignite is a non-profit ticketing platform which aims to raise funding for the arts from booking fees, which go into an ‘Ignite Fund’ to which emerging artists can apply. Visit their website for more information.
The Festival’s website is www.bristolshakespearefestival.org.uk
Follow us on Facebook, Instagram & Twitter @bristolbardfest #BrisBardFest
The 2019 BSF Programme can be found here