GB Theatre Company
Kensington Palace Gardens
15-21 August 2012 at 7.30pm
Tickets: 01603 630000
This year has been notable for three major, national events that would have been difficult to ignore - The Queen’s Jubilee, the Olympics and, in case you hadn’t noticed, Shakespeare. The Queen has been nearly everywhere in the British Isles; the Olympic build-up has been relentless, with the Olympic torch literally having been everywhere; Shakespeare is celebrated all over the place since his 449th birthday in April, including special performances at Stratford, The Globe, Edinburgh and Brighton - virtually everywhere.
This is to co-incide with London 2012, and includes an exhibition at the British Museum entitled Shakespeare: staging the world, a stunning show, tracing the history of the Bard’s output through artefacts and sound, including paintings, maps, globes, domestic objects, weaponry, and of course, the printed word, each illustrating specific images in Shakespeare’s plays. If all that was not enough, the BBC has just finished a stunning run of The Hollow Crown, which comprised some of the best adaptations and some of the best acting ever filmed.
Undaunted by all this, GB Theatre Company has been touring Britain, a bit like Her Majesty carrying an Olympic flame, visiting places as diverse as Exeter Castle, Ramme Gaard in Norway, Reading, Bristol, Norwich, Chepstow, Suffolk, Sheffield, Warwick, Cornwall, London and finally Arundel Castle, with The Tempest andThe Taming of the Shrew. The man behind this enterprise is David Davis, who plays Petruchio to Lucia McAnespie’s Katherina in the Shrew, with Jenny Stephens directing, while Jack Shepherd directs The Tempest with Gwilym Lloyd’s Prospero, Tom Kay’s Caliban and Daniel Dingsdale as the spritely Ariel. The orangery lawn in front of Kensington Palace is the venue for these promising performances, picnics, travelling rugs, and umbrellas at the ready, in case one of the plays becomes eponymous.