THE Lord Chamberlain’s Men, the all-male travelling Shakespeare troupe, return to the RHS Garden at Harlow Carr, Harrogate, on August 21 with their tenth anniversary show.
"2014 marks the 450th anniversary of William Shakespeare’s birth and ten years since we first toured the UK with our inaugural production of Macbeth," say the outdoor theatre specialiasts.
"To celebrate this extraordinary milestone, we asked our loyal audience which show they would like to see and the vote came back unanimously that Romeo & Juliet was how they wanted us to celebrate our tenth birthday. "
The Lord Chamberlain's Men promise a "brand new, action-packed version of the world's greatest love story". "For 400 years the tale of Shakespeare’s ‘star-cross’d lovers’ has gripped audiences with its perfect blend of passion, excitement and heart-stopping thrills, including, of course, the most famous balcony scene of all time," they say.
"The heroic tragedy of forbidden love, unified in passion, but fatally separated by destiny; doomed, but united for all eternity, even in the ultimate sacrifice of death. Perhaps it is romantic fantasy, or perhaps we all hope to have a taste of one such love in our lives, but the theme is timeless, and its appeal universal."
The company perform Shakespeare's plays in the manner of the original Lord Chamberlain's Men: in the open air, in full Elizabethan costume, with music and dance and a cast restricted to men only.
Creative producer Mark Puddle, the company's founder, says: "In the past ten years, we've travelled 100,000 miles, touring to 200 venues in seven different countries, performing over 1,150 shows, so to celebrate our tenth anniversary, we're enormously proud to present our most ambitious and spectacular production yet.”
As confirmed by the audience vote, Romeo & Juliet is the play that people always want to see, reckons Mark, with its tale of two young lovers entering a forbidden affair as they go against the grain of their two feuding Veronese families.
"The eternal themes of love, honour and revenge still resonate with modern audiences," he says. "What could be more perfect for a summer’s evening than a classical telling of this immortal love story at one of the nation’s most beautiful gardens. We're always delighted to be in Yorkshire and performing at RHS Harlow Carr.”
Doors open at 6.30pm for the 7.30pm performance at Harlow Carr, Crag Lane, Harrogate. Tickets cost £15, children £10, on 01423 502116.