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Shakespeare-peddling stars Handlebards return to Dundee

Shakespeare-peddling stars Handlebards return to Dundee

Boats, bikes and theatre combine as award-winning acting troupe The Handlebards return to Dundee to stage their version of Hamlet on the world's last sail-time warship.

The acting quartet has been turning heads in recent years with their unique approach to Shakespeare and performing theatre in general.

'Four men, four bikes and 1500 miles' is the adopted tagline and, really, that sums it up quite well. Cycling from venue to venue, The Handlebards tour the UK carrying their entire set, and all the props and costumes on their bikes.

The group's last appearance in Dundee was a huge success and they return this week to perform Hamlet - but forget the tragic tale you might be more familiar with as this is a comedic interpretation billed as a fast-paced farce of Shakespeare's best-loved play.

“Hamlet is one of the biggest tragedies known to the British language but actually it is not played that way at all in our shows," producer Paul Moss said.

“It is fun and accessible and almost lampoons the traditional style of how Shakespeare was performed.”

Unusual? Perhaps. But when the group has fans like acting legend Sir Ian Mckellan, it's hard to suggest they are doing something wrong.

Peculius

After a hugely successful debut tour in 2013, the group have continued to entertain and delight audiences around the UK since.

The winner of the 2014 Sustainable Practice Award at the Fringe Festival, The Handlebards have now performed to over 10,000 people in over 100 different venues.

Regularly commended by critics and audiences alike, they are known for a highly visual and accessible style of performing Shakespeare.

  (The Handlebards)
via STV via STV

Above: An outdoor performance in Sheffield highlights the group's growing popularity.

"I wasn’t at the show last year but everybody tells me that it was brilliant," explained Susan Curran, development manager at the Frigate Unicorn.

"They were absolutely fantastic and they went down a storm so we really are delighted to have them back.

"It is a very humourous and unique production which we think ties in quite well with the Unicorn - and it's happening on national cycle to work day which is quite funny too.

"We already have a lot of people who are coming down tomorrow and I know that some people visiting us will be going to see them perform in other venues nearby - which says something for their popularity."

The Handlebards will be performing Hamlet in Dundee for one night only on Thursday, September 3, at 8pm.

They will also be performing another Shakespeare favourite, A Midsummer Night's Dream, at Coupar Angus and Newtyle on Friday and Saturday.

In Dundee the performance will be staged on the Frigate Unicorn; one of six ships regarded as the oldest in the world and the last remaining warship from sailing times.

Tickets can be bought online, or check out our interview with the group ahead of their appearance at this year's Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

On thou bike for HandleBards secret Shakespeare

Read More

The image of performance in Sheffield appears courtesy of The Handlebards Facebook page.

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