Shakespeare Nation Update

Here at the Alhambra Theatre we are very excited to be involved with the Royal Shakespeare Companies nationwide project Shakespeare Nation.  This project will see community groups across the country develop their own productions of ‘The Winter’s Tale’ in 2021.  This is in parallel with the RSC production of the same play that is being directed by Erica Whyman and will open it’s National tour with us here at The Alhambra Theatre in June 2021. 

The production was all set to open at the end of March just before we all went into lock down but work has continued behind the scenes in all of the regional theatres participating in this project with everything from people writing their own Sonnets in response to lockdown to people filming their favourite speeches from Shakespeare and posting them in the online RSC Community.

Plans are underway to bring a cast and crew together who will work on our very own Bradford Community production of ‘The Winter’s Tale’.  I am looking for community groups to get involved.  If you or someone you know is involved with a group please get in touch to discuss the project and arrange for me to visit your group.  Or if you are someone who has always wanted to have a go at acting also get in touch.  This production is going to reflect our Bradford community and be a celebration of Shakespeare and the arts in todays interesting times.

The play itself is really appropriate to the times we are living through, it’s themes include isolation, separation and loss but ultimately, through the kindness of strangers, reconciliation and forgiveness.  It tells of the disruption in the state when it’s leader is under stress and suffering from paranoia and ambition.  And it shows the balm that can be poured on troubles by a simpler more natural way of existing in the lands of Bohemia….and what comes about when these two worlds collide.

Over the next few months workshops and events will be taking place in Bradford and you don’t need to have any previous experience of acting to take part.  The project is a lovely way to learn new things, meet new people and explore the wonderful world of Shakespeare, still so relevant today in his understanding of the human condition.  Participants in previous Shakespeare Nation projects have reported how much their wellbeing and confidence grew as part of being involved.  It will be a safe space to discover and discuss.

I look forward to hearing from you all.  Contact me at julia.okeeffe@bradford.gov.uk

Below is a link to see Erica Whyman in action teaching a lesson on ‘Romeo and Juliet’.  And you can find lots more on the RSC website.