Leeds theatre company Front Room Productions will make a much-anticipated return to outdoor performance this summer, presenting open air shows in Bramley Park.
A Midsummer Night’s Showcase is a highlights reel of Shakespeare’s best bits, a bite-sized, pop-up show to enjoy from the comfort of your local park. As well as Bramley, shows will be performed at Middleton Park, Roundhay Park and Temple Newsam Estate.
Front Room Productions’ creative producer, Alice Barber, said the company wanted to prove that the Big Bad Bard can be a fun and relatable experience for all. She said:
“The show is really good fun – lots of glitter, silliness, and music! It aims to give people a little taste of some of the funniest and most dramatic moments in Shakespeare’s plays – as well as bring a little bit of joy and magic to Leeds’ beloved outdoor spaces, which became so important during the pandemic.”
The company has a track record of bringing a contemporary twist to Shakespeare, punctuating scenes with familiar pop-hits, performed live, to help contextualise each scene. The show takes a dynamic format, with scenes selected from a hat at random, which the cast will perform on the spot.
“One moment you’ll be in stitches, the next you may shed a tear” explains Olivia Race, Artistic Director of the company. “We’ve a huge range of material in store, from the slapstick comedy of A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Twelfth Night, to the rousing rhetoric of Hamlet and Julius Caesar, and the devastating drama of Othello.”
Front Room have previously performed in and around some of Leeds’ most iconic locations, including Kirkgate Market, Temple Newsam’s Amphitheatre, and the Civic Hall. Later in the Summer, they will present ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ in the Walled Garden at Temple Newsam Estate. Ms Race added:
“It’s been a difficult year for companies like ours. Navigating Covid-19 guidelines adds an extra layer of planning, but we’re so thrilled to be able to make a return to live performance in the beautiful surroundings of our home city.”
A Midsummer Night’s Showcase will be performed at 2pm and 5pm on Saturday 24 July 2021 in Bramley Park. Performances are free to attend, but places must be booked online in advance at www.frontroomproductions.co.uk.
A Midsummer Night’s Dream will be performed in the Walled Garden at Temple Newsam Estate from 4 to 15 August 2021.
Both events will comply with Covid-19 guidelines, and are supported with funding from Arts Council England, and Leeds Inspired, part of Leeds City Council, from the Leeds Philosophical and Literary Society, and the Leeds Outer East, Inner West, Inner North East and Inner South Community Committees.