Fans of Shakespeare are in for a treat over the first Bank Holiday weekend in May, when Shropshire Drama Company (SDC) read twelve of his plays non-stop, to raise funds for their forthcoming production of King Richard III at Much Wenlock Festival and the Breakthrough Breast Cancer charity.
SDC’s ‘Bardathon’ will start very early in the morning of Saturday 3th May in Shrewsbury’s square, continuing throughout the day then locating to a local college and a pub for the evening readings and back to the square to finish on Sunday 4th. It is estimated to take thirty-five hours in total. The twelve plays to be read in order of performance since SDC started staging productions at the biennial Much Wenlock Festival in 1984, are: The Tempest, The Merry Wives of Windsor, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, As You Like It, Hamlet, Twelfth Night, Macbeth, Henry V, Much Ado About Nothing, The Merchant of Venice, King Lear and All’s Well That Ends Well.
In addition to actors from SDC a number of other organisations are involved in the project. The list includes: The Attfield Theatre, Abbey Foregate Players, Bomere Heath Village Players, the Coach and Horses pub, Condover Players, Dorrington Players, Mad Cow Productions, Shrewsbury College of Arts & Technology, Shrewsbury Music Hall, Shrewsbury School, Shrewsbury Theatre Guild, Shrewsbury Youth Theatre and Whitchurch Little Theatre Group.
Rosalind Garrard, chairman of SDC, said: “The idea to read all of the plays was thought up as publicity exercise for Richard III, but so much interest has been shown it’s snowballed. Members of drama groups from around the area are reading as individuals or as a whole company and I would like to thank them and the various organisations and venues who are providing their time and support for free. We’re looking forward to what will be an interesting challenge, a lot of fun and a positive way of raising money for charity.”
People interested in sponsoring the readers are invited to donate monies on the day or contact SDC by email firstname.lastname@example.org for pledge forms. Tickets for King Richard III at Holy Trinity Church Green (Much Wenlock) from 9th to 14th June are available through the Much Wenlock Festival website at www.muchwenlockfestival.co.uk.
Picture: Rosalind Garrard, chairman, Shropshire Drama Company
— ends —