Will it be sunny? Will it be overcast? Will it rain? These three questions, while perhaps a little trite and unnecessary – ‘what’s the weather like?’ would suffice – will never be truly answered in Wales. Travel to the Mediterranean, the North or South Poles (take your pick) or the Amazon and you will have your meteorological answers, but will you have your fix of sultry Shakespeare?
The biggest of its kind in Wales, The Everyman Festival – having already delivered the bloody goods in a highly commended production of Sweeney Todd – is currently thigh-high in the boots of Blackadder II, raking in a mass of glowing reviews. The question is: can they rake in more?
Opening on 25 July and running until 2 August, Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew certainly promises big things – and I don’t just mean Petruchio’s ego – with an excellent cast and the Royal Shakespeare Company’s own Rebecca Gould sat in the director’s chair.
Lucentio loves Bianca, Bianca loves Lucentio; Bianca’s father Baptista declares she’ll not marry until her elder, venomous sister Katherine be wed. Unfortunately it seems dear Kate’s only redeeming quality is her great big, enormous dowry – steady on. Will the charismatic but penniless Petruchio prove the charmer, or shall her sting find his tail? Cue a battle of wit, words and willpower; a whirlwind of disguises and a domestic that will end in tears, or in kindness.
If your theatrical appetite still isn’t sated, then have no fear: the show runs until 2 August so you can see it repeatedly! For those little drama divas whose cravings bite deep, andGo Productions’ Disney’s The Little Mermaid Jr. runs in tandem from 26 July. You and all the family will be transported to an underwater world – especially if it rains – where Ariel the beautiful mermaid Princess will be waiting to take you on a bright, musical adventure.
And remember folks, Blackadder II is still on until Monday 21 July. Fans and newcomers alike can be sure to find comedy gold in them thar episodes Bells; Potato;and Beer. Here’s a review http://www.buzzmag.co.uk/uncategorized/blackadder-ii-stage-review/
There is an on-site Festival Bar and should the heavens open all seats are sheltered so you can remain dry and merry, watching the cast members slog it out for your entertainment. Last year I had the privilege of seeing their cracking Midsummer Night’s Dream performed at sea, such was the power of the deluge. With slips, trips and brollies, believe me it only adds to the show!
Tickets for Blackadder II and The Taming of the Shrew are £12-£16 (£2 off for under 18s). Tickets for Disney’s The Little Mermaid Jr. are £7 each or £25 for a family ticket for four people.
For more information and to book tickets on-line visit the Everyman website: www.everymanfestival.co.uk or call the box office on 0333 6663366
Eifion Ap Cadno