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Enjoy Prospero and a pint at the pub

Shakespeare in the Garden at Calleva Arms

Trish Lee

Trish Lee


01635 886663

Shakespeare in the garden

Last year's tour

SHAKESPEARE in the Garden returns to Fuller’s pubs this month.
The pub and hotel business is again backing the tour of The Tempest, produced by theatre company Open Bar, in pub gardens across Fuller’s premises. The production visits The Calleva Arms, Silchester, on September 16.

This is the ninth year running that pub customers have been able to enjoy alfresco productions, but this year has a socially distanced twist. The Tempest tour takes in 14 Fuller’s pubs throughout September. Tickets must be booked in advance from event-finder/shakespeare-in-the-garden

Open Bar co-founder and director Nicky Diss said: “Every year we try to bring accessible and fun Shakespeare shows to Fuller’s pub gardens and this year we all need inspiring theatre more than ever. We’re dusting off our aerial rig and The Tempest will be blowing into a into a beer garden near you.”

Open Bar Theatre was formed in 2016 by Nicky with Vicky Gaskin to produce Shakespeare for Fuller’s pub gardens. The company adopts a lively, informal style for its performances, to fit the relaxed setting of a picturesque pub garden.
Vicky says: “Our audiences are a real mix of pub-goers and theatre fans. We love them all, but nothing beats witnessing someone enjoying Shakespeare for the first time. The more reluctant they are at the beginning, the more magical it is.

“Trying to produce a show in 2020 has been a rollercoaster to say the least. Fuller’s has been so positive and supportive throughout and, in a world where all artists are feeling undervalued and concerned for their future, we feel immensely privileged to be able to provide work for creatives – and ourselves.”

The Tempest will be boldest show yet for Shakespeare in The Garden, with original music, vibrant costumes and a hint of aerial circus, Prospero is a former duke, exiled on a virtually uninhabited island in the middle of the Mediterranean for 12 years. Fortunately for him, all his enemies are about to sail past, so he conjures a storm, wrecks their ships and leaves them separated all over his new home so he can regain his dukedom and his freedom.

It’s not the greatest plan, but it’s all he’s got… and in a modern twist, it all has to comply with social distancing measures.

Will he get everything he desires? Will he figure out what ‘one-metre plus’ means? And will we all get the happy ending that we so desperately need this year?

A full list of venues, performances and ticket prices can be found at shakespeare-in-the-garden

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