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Cycling Shakespeare troupe ride into Calderstones Park this summer

Written by Rachael Norris, 7th June 2021

‘By the pricking of my thumbs,
Something wicked this way comes.’
― William Shakespeare, Macbeth  

Touring theatre troupe, The HandleBards, will be arriving on two wheels to Liverpool’s Calderstones Park for an open-air performance of William Shakespeare’s unmentionable tragedy Macbeth on Thursday 29 July, 7pm. 

The performance marks the return of outdoor theatre to the Mansion House’s Garden Theatre with as part of an exciting programme of outdoor events including music, creative classes and Shared Reading happening at Calderstones over the summer.  

Pedalling from venue to venue with all of their set, props and costumes on the back of their bikes, the HandleBards are a three-strong troupe of actors who are spending the summer bringing environmentally sustainable Shakespeare to venues across the UK.  

The all-female troupe will bring a bicycle-powered production of the Scottish play, Macbeth, to the 1940s Art-Deco Garden Theatre in Calderstones Park.  

The HandleBards all male troupe visited The Reader in 2019, images thanks to Fern and Star Photography.

Anna Farrell, Head of Calderstones Programme, said: “After such a long time we're delighted to get back on track with The Reader’s outdoor theatre programme. The garden theatre at Calderstones was born out of the Holidays at Home scheme in the Second World War and it has been our dream to put the space back to its original use. At The Reader we think Shakespeare is for everyone, and we've no doubt The HandleBards will delight our Liverpool audiences once more.”  

The HandleBards’ Producer Paul Moss said: “We’re over the moon to be coming back to The Reader at Calderstones to present our outdoor theatre in the park to the lovely people of Liverpool. Whether you’ve never seen Shakespeare before or you’re a big fan of the Bard, you’ve never seen it done like this…”  

This one-hour-and-forty-minute Macbeth is a whistle stop tour of Kings, Queens, Witches and noblemen. Forget the tears and tragedy - this is a frantic, delirious, full-of-beans show like you've never seen before. 

As this is an outdoor production, please bring a chair or blanket to sit on and dress for the weather! Standard tickets are £17 with a limited number of £15 early bird tickets available, under 18s are £10 and under 10s go free. 

Tickets for The HandleBards Macbeth go on sale on Monday 7 June, 10am and can be bought online at https://www.thereader.org.uk/get-involved/whats-on/the-handlebards-macbeth  

The Reader at Calderstones is supported by Arts Council England, The National Lottery Community Fund, People’s Postcode Lottery and the Steve Morgan Foundation. The programme at Calderstones is also supported by Esmée Fairbairn Foundation, Garfield Weston Foundation, National Lottery Heritage Fund, Evan Cornish Foundation, The Granada Foundation and Tudor Trust. 

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