GB Theatre Company
Kensington Palace Gardens
15-21 August 2012 at 7.30pm
Tickets: 01603 630000
What could be more centre-stage than Sir Kenneth Branagh, dressed as Isambard Kingdom Brunel in top-hat and frock-coat and sporting Bradley Wiggins sideburns, in the midst of the dark, satanic mills of the London Olympic Opening Ceremony? With a cigar clenched in his teeth, he recited Caliban’s lines from The Tempest: “Be not afraid, the isle is full of noises, Sounds, and sweet airs, that give delight and hurt not.” With a global audience, some Americans were bewildered, not just by Danny Boyle’s quirky take on British culture, but by the fact that they thought Sir Ken was playing Abe Lincoln. If you want more of Shakespeare, then, either visit the British Museum’s magnificent exhibition Shakespeare: staging the world, or go to Kensington Palace Gardens from 15-21 August, sit on the lawn on a tartan travelling rug, with a glass of rosé and smoked salmon sandwiches, and watch The Tempest or The Taming of the Shrew. This is a short London run (see above for details), but the company moves to Arundel Castle for their final performances of the Shrew on Thursday 23rd and Saturday 25th August, with The Tempest on Friday 24th at 7.30pm as the filling in the sandwich. The cast of outstanding professional actors, including David Davis, Lucia McAnespie, Jenny Stephens, Gwilym Lloyd, Tom Kay as Caliban and Daniel Dingsdale as Ariel, are directed by Jenny Stephens (director of BBC Radio 4’s The Archers) and Jack Shepherd (of ITV’s Wycliffe fame).
Photograph: The Taming of the Shrew. Lucia McAnespie and David Davies.