Cycling from theatre to farm, from castle to park, The HandleBards’ all-female company are touring their irreverent Macbeth across the UK this summer. The most environmentally friendly Shakespearean theatre company there is, and naturally one of the most Covid-safe, are packing The Scottish Play onto their bikes and taking it to outdoor venues. To ensure good sight lines for a socially distanced audience, the company are using a bespoke wooden stage with bicycle powered mechanisms, which travels with them in an electric van, in order to keep their emissions as low as possible. Forget the tears and tragedy – this is a frantic, delirious, full-of-beans, bike-powered farce!
The HandleBards sister company Slapstick Picnic will also be touring with a two-person The Importance of Being Earnest from 26th June.
Macbeth director Emma Sampson said, “It’s great to get back into the rehearsal room with the HandleBards. Working with them is always the most fun job of my calendar year and the all-female cast has been a delight to direct. They are truly three of the funniest women I have ever met in my life.”
The HandleBards began with a sense of adventure, a love of Shakespeare and a nifty little pun. Since four fearless friends (Callum Brodie, Callum Cheatle, Tom Dixon and Paul Moss) pedalled Twelfth Night to twenty UK venues in 2013, the company has grown to become an internationally renowned theatre company, bringing a uniquely irreverent brand of Shakespeare to audiences all over the globe. The HandleBards travel by bike because they care about the planet and want to promote sustainability and healthy living. In 2014, they won the Edinburgh Fringe Sustainable Practice Award. They were nominated again in 2015, and in 2016 were nominated for The Stage’s inaugural Sustainability Award.
The HandleBards share actors and creatives with new sister company Slapstick Picnic including theatre director Nel Crouch (RSC, Young Vic), using their experience of outdoor theatre and adapting Shakespeare to produce classic tales with an untraditional twist.
HandleBards will tour the UK 4 June – 19 September, for more info and to book please see their website www.handlebards.com