The Actors’ Church has announced Theatre in the Garden, a dedicated season filled with Shakespearean comedy, puppetry, comedy and new takes on classic tales. Eight visiting companies will bring a wide variety of innovative theatre to these award winning gardens, marking a new era for the Actors’ Church.
St Paul’s Church, world renowned as the Actors’ Church, lies at the heart of London’s West End.
The Reverend Simon Grigg, Rector, said, “The Actors’ Church is one of the spiritual homes of the theatre industry. For almost 400 years, the church has hosted all manner of theatrical productions, from Jesus Christ Superstar, via the 60th Anniversary Concert of My Fair Lady, to solo One-Night shows. But nothing has been more central to our theatrical mission than our summer outdoor theatre programme. I am delighted to be welcoming such a diverse array of companies to our beautiful garden, both ‘old friends’ and some exciting new faces. I very much look forward to welcoming you this summer’
To kick off the season, The Three Inch Fools are rushed off their feet performing one of Shakespeare’s most chaotic comedies, As You Like It (28th – 31st May). With musical instruments in hand, the hapless troupe of actors hit the road with a production of endless costume changes, chaos and confusion. This is followed by legendary folktale Robin Hood (1st – 3rd September) with a production which can only be described as disastrous.
Shakespeare in the Square will perform Shakespeare’s glorious romantic comedy of mistaken identity, Twelfth Night (30th June – 1st July) set in the roaring 1920s.
Tethered Wits will welcome audiences to the ultimate Jazz Age party, for an adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s gem of American literature The Great Gatsby (17th – 24th August). The company will then bring a fun, family-friendly story of Doctor Dolittle (18th – 24th August), using magnificent puppetry to fill the courtyard with every kind of creature imaginable.
Troubadour Stageworks will stage a fast paced, high-energy version of Romeo + Juliet (5th – 8th July) and a new adaption of The Odyssey (4th – 6th August) which is full of music and adventure – both shows are suitable for all the family.
Originally created in 2015 to critical acclaim, Henry I (20-22 July) from Rabble Theatre returns at a time when its themes resonate more acutely than ever. Henry I is written by the company’s resident writer Beth Flintoff. Rabble Theatre are known for their award-winning historical seasons and championing the forgotten women of history.
Slapstick Picnic Peter Pan (13th – 15th July) is a theatrical treat like no other as they whip up a three hander version of JM Barrie’s classic play Peter Pan. Let your imagination soar as they dish out this timeless tale of hapless pirates, feral children and a particularly punctual reptile…
The award-winning Illyria Theatre company return with Jane Austen’s scandalous romcom Pride and Prejudice (1st – 2nd August). It flips the traditionally stuffy costume drama on its head for a whirlwind of parties, romance, and gossip.
The season concludes with a hilarious, high-octane production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream (7th – 8th September) from HandleBards. The company carry all their set, props and costumes on the back of their bikes, performing extremely energetic, charmingly chaotic and environmentally sustainable Shakespeare plays across the UK.