Re-cycling Shakespeare

The HandleBards.
The HandleBards.

There’s much going on at a Northumberland landmark as bikers bring the Bard to Blagdon.

The HandleBards Peddling Shakespeare Cycling Theatre Company will present Much Ado About Nothing at Northumberlandia next week.

The all-male troupe of four will stop off at the landform on their cycling tour from London to Edinburgh, during which they carry all their set, props and costumes on their bikes.

The group of Liam Mansfield, Matt Maltby, Paul Hilliar and Stanton Plummer-Cambridge take on 20 characters between them for the rib-tickling production, which shows that the path of true love never runs smooth.

It tells the tale of Claudio and Hero in the build-up to their wedding, while Beatrice and Benedick fall in love over a war of words. However, the scheming Don John ruins the big day and only the comical local watch can come to Hero’s rescue.

HandleBards Producer and Founder Paul Moss said: “With six plays and 5,000 miles under our belt, we’re ready for our biggest and most ambitious season yet.”

The troupe is now in its fourth season, having started on the road in 2013 with a 967-mile cycle from Glasgow to London.

From cheap bikes and a rickety trailer, they have grown into an internationally successful theatre company, performing in 12 countries across three continents, and this year British bike manufacturer Pashley is providing the group’s hand-crafted bikes.

The group performs at a range of venues, from castles to gardens and bike yards, and now Northumberland Wildlife Trust is bringing it to Northumberlandia.

People should take chairs, blankets, waterproofs and a picnic.

Much Ado takes place at the landform near Blagdon on Wednesday, July 27, at 6pm. Tickets cost £12 adult, £10 concs. For tickets or further information visit