ROTHERHAM parks will become open-air theatres next week as Shakespeare’s most-performed play goes on tour.
Richard III, featuring a host of well-known actors, will entertain crowds around the borough.
The family-friendly production by Rotherham Underground follows on from last year’s successful outdoor production of Macbeth.
Alice Bartlett, Rotherham Underground’s artistic director, said: “Bringing Macbeth to Rotherham parks last year was fantastic in terms of enabling local audiences to access high-quality professional theatre in their own communities.
“The feedback we got was absolutely fantastic, both from people who had never seen Shakespeare before — and were worried beforehand that they might not understand or enjoy it — and also from people who are used to having to travel much further to see Shakespeare performed professionally, who told us that our production was just as good as shows they’d seen in places like Stratford.”
Richard III is Shakespeare’s most charming and dangerous villain — a man whose set his sights on becoming king, and will do and say whatever it takes to get what he wants. Alice said the political thriller was relevant today as it was when it was written.
The production stars television actor William Travis as the hunch-backed Richard, who audiences will recognise from lead roles in Coronation Street, This Is England, and Where The Heart Is.
He will be joined by Susan McArdle (Coronation Street, Early Doors, Hetty Feather), Nathan Morris (Hollyoaks) and Joe Slack (Grange Hill).
This cast is also supported by up-and-coming local talent, including a number of Rotherham school children who performed in this year’s annual schools’ Shakespeare Festival.
“We’re very proud to have attracted such a high-quality cast to Rotherham for this year’s show, and we can’t wait to share it with people across the borough,” said Alice.
“At Rotherham Underground, we feel that this work is particularly important in terms of providing an opportunity for the thousands of local school children who’ve been involved in Rotherham’s Shakespeare Festival over the years to be able to see a high-quality, accessible and affordable production of a well-known Shakespeare play on their own doorsteps.”
The outdoor show promises to have a relaxed atmosphere and audience members are advised to bring picnic blankets (and, of course, a picnic!) as well camping chairs/stools if they want.
You can see Richard III at the following times and locations
Wednesday, September 25 — Bradgate Park, Kimberworth.
Thursday, September 26 — Rosehill Park, Rawmarsh.
Friday, September 27 — Greenlands Park, Anston.
Saturday, September 28 — Boston Castle, Canklow.
Sunday, September 29 — Clifton Park, Rotherham.
Weekday performances start at 5.30pm and weekend performances at 5pm and the show, suitable for over-8s, is 80 minutes long.
Advance tickets are available online for £5 (£4 for children and concessions) at https://tickets.rotherhamunderground.com and tickets will be available on the door for £6 (£5 for children).