Much Ado About Calderstones

Much Ado About Nothing, Globe on Tour, 2014, Emma Pallant

Now that Calderstones Mansion’s brand new Garden Theatre is open for business, it’s the perfect place to enjoy some outdoor Shakespeare, says Rachael Jones…

Shakespeare comes to Calderstones Mansion House this week as The Reader Organisation hosts Big Will’s Much Ado About Nothing. And not just any production – the Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre touring production, freshly critically-acclaimed and ready to please a crowd.

Now that the Mansion’s Garden Theatre is fully re-established as a venue (thanks in large part to last year’s sell-out Globe production of King Lear), The Reader can use the re-opened space to expand their existing community and bring people together – with a higher seating capacity, more performances and stonking new facilities such as the newly-opened Reader café and gallery space. Plus, it’s a great way to start a summer. (One which is definitely going to be sunshiney throughout, by the way.)

For those unfamiliar with Shakespeare’s comedies, let us just take a second to fill you in on what’s ‘ado’ (sorry. So sorry.) with this particular play. Claudio loves Hero, and Hero Claudio. Beatrice and Benedick are equally mutually enamoured. Sounds like a recipe for a love-in; if only anyone was willing to confess their amore. Which, unfortunately, they aren’t. Cue hilarious mayhem, banter, the odd brutal killing and occasional crushing embarrassment. And yes, it will be just as good as we just made it sound.

“We’re really looking forward to kicking back on the grass and letting all that marvellous iambic pentameter just wash over us”

So why this partnership between The Globe and The Reader? When you think about it, it’s a combination that makes perfect sense; The Reader, an organisation whose primary mission is to bring literature into the community and encourage that community to engage with reading, and The Globe, a body dedicated to bringing the work of one of history’s greatest writers to new audiences through performance and education. Two organisations, then, working together to give audiences a shared experience and bring great work to those who may not ordinarily engage with it. Getting to write sentences like that makes us feel good.

The Reader’s residence at Calderstones came about as the result of “a very careful process to find the right partner to bring the Mansion House back into use”. Put out to tender in 2012, the building was reopened to the public in April last year and now hosts all manner of events, shared reading activities and meetings. Founder of The Reader, Dr. Jane Davis MBE, “can’t wait to see the garden come to life again…following lots of change at Calderstones Mansion House this year, this is a fantastic way to bring people together’.

For our part, we’re really looking forward to kicking back on the grass and letting all that marvellous iambic pentameter just wash over us.

Rachael Jones

Performances at Calderstones Mansion started last night and continue until  Saturday 14 June 2014 — evening performances 7.30pm. Matinees take place today Friday 13 and Saturday 14 June 2014, 2.30pm. Book here

Please note that these are outdoor performances and you may want to bring your own chair/waterproof coat/cushion. But no gazebos – the guy behind you will not be impressed

The Globe on Tour continues throughout this year calling at Isle of Wight, Cambridge, Essex, Cumbria, Norwich — see website or Twitter for updates @The_Globe #MuchAdo

Posted on 13/06/2014 by thedoublenegative