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Shakespeare’s Globe bring new production of Julius Caesar to The Reader at Calderstones

Written by Rachael Norris, 14th February 2022

The Mansion House in Calderstones Park, home of national charity The Reader, will play host to three outdoor performances from Shakespeare’s Globe on Friday 3 and Saturday 4 June 2022. 

Photographer: Kate Bones. Art Director: Louise Richardson.

Globe on Tour will bring to life Shakespeare’s political thriller with an open-air production of Julius Caesar in The Reader’s art deco Garden Theatre.

In 2020, Shakespeare’s Globe were due to be the first to deliver performances at The Reader following a £5 million, three-year refurbishment of the Mansion House but performances were cancelled due to Covid-19. 

The Garden Theatre, first opened in 1947, has a long tradition of hosting touring theatre in Calderstones Park.  

Outdoor theatre in Calderstones Park has its origins in the ‘Holidays at Home’ scheme during World War II, when communities were invited to pull up a deck chair and enjoy dance, musical and comedy productions on the stage.  

This year marks Globe on Tour’s first visit to Liverpool since 2016. 

Head of Programmes at The Reader, Anna Farrell said: “Shakespeare has been bringing people together at The Reader since our first ever Shared Reading group started nearly two decades ago.  

“Shakespeare’s work gets to the heart of the human experience in a way that continues to have a powerful impact on many of our groups across the UK and at Calderstones, who read his work aloud together in our groups each week. 

“We’re delighted to be working with Shakespeare’s Globe to welcome people of all ages to our Garden Theatre to experience that same feeling and wonder.” 

Julius Caesar Director, Diane Page says: “I’m so excited to bring my production of Julius Caesar straight from the Globe Theatre in London to tour across the UK. These past few years have revealed more than ever how betrayal, division, and cunning rhetoric are not just traits belonging to Ancient Rome. Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar will be on the road this summer and I look forward bringing this production to The Reader performed against the breath-taking backdrop of Calderstones Park.” 

Julius Caesar, set in Ancient Rome, plots a conspiracy to kill, public broadcast of cunning rhetoric and a divisive fight for Greatness on stage.

When Cassius and Brutus decide Rome’s leader Julius Caesar poses a political threat to their beloved country, there’s only one solution... 

Julius Caesar is directed by Diane Page, Winner of the JMK Award 2021 for Statements after an Arrest under the Immorality Act (Orange Tree Theatre). A cast of talented and versatile actors will bring Shakespeare’s brutal tale of ambition, incursion, and revolution to life in the Globe and on tour across the UK. Diane’s previous directing work includes Out West, In Love and Loyalty (Lyric Hammersmith) and Ghost Stories (Associate Director West End and Tour).  

Julius Caesar is designed by 2018's The Stage Debut Award-winner for Best Designer Khadija Raza (Ten Nights, Bush Theatre) with Jesse Haughton-Shaw as Dramaturg. 

For those who find the prospect of Shakespeare daunting, The Reader is hosting ‘Don’t Fear Shakespeare’ sessions ahead of the event providing a friendly and informal exploration of the text. 

All performances will have a relaxed atmosphere, with ticket holders asked to bring along their own deck chairs, blankets and cushions to the open-air performance.

Standard tickets are £16 with the option to add on a picnic box for two for an extra £15.95. To find out more or to book tickets visit www.thereader.org.uk/events. 

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