‘Small-scale’ Shakespeare coming to St Helens

Johnny Vegas in Midsummer Night's Dream
Johnny Vegas in Midsummer Night's Dream
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A small-scale Shakespare-inspired produced for young children aged between eight and 12 is coming to St Helens.

Up The Road Theatre and the Unity Theatre have joined forces to produce Bardolph’s Box, a work exploring the Bard’s role in literature, culture and history.

Nicola Pollard, director and founder of Up The Road Theatre

Nicola Pollard, director and founder of Up The Road Theatre

The performance will come to The Citadel in Waterloo Street, St Helens, on Sunday, April 3.

Bardolph’s Box will inspire the younger generation and make Shakespeare fun.

The touring company compromises of three actors: one to play Bardolph, Falstaff’s sidekick from Henry IV’s, Henry V and The Merry Wives of Windsor, and the other two playing a host of characters from Shakespeare’s plays.

The production will engage and include the audience by exploring the issues of each character as they visit Bardolph in search of assistance, by voting and en-masse contributions.

The experienced actors will create a fun and safe atmosphere, and encourage rather than demand interaction.

The company will focus on some of Shakespeare’s lesser known plays and characters, such as The Two Gentlemen of Verona and The Comedy of Errors.

Their exchanges with Bardolph will include both modern English and extracts from the plays, Bardolph himself has a quest of his own, which the characters and audience can help with.

Many young children are initially put off from Shakespeare’s complicated language, but this production utilises Shakespeare’s language in a manner that makes it easier for a younger audience to understand.

Nicola Pollard, director and founder of Up The Road Theatre, said: “We're really looking forward to introducing children (and their families!) to Bardolph and his wonderful world. Through an exciting myriad of characters, we're exploring a number of Shakespeare's plays, including The Comedy of Errors, Antony and Cleopatra, The Tempest and Twelfth Night.

“Our audience will be encouraged to help young Bardolph on his first big adventure, as he gets his friends out of fixes and deliberates their dilemmas.

“With live music, plenty of puppetry and a good dollop of humour, Bardolph's Box is a brilliant way to celebrate Shakespeare 400th anniversary!”