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  • Writer's pictureHinton Magazine

The site-specific pub garden tour bringing two Shakespeare classics to the masses this summer


In partnership with Fuller’s pubs, Open Bar Theatre are currently touring two Shakespeare plays, Twelfth Night and Romeo & Juliet, to pub gardens up and down the country, bringing classics back to the people. Having updated the satire in the plays to suit modern day, and performing with a physical, high-energy style and a sprinkling of audience participation, Open Bar Theatre is for today’s groundlings, those who want to sit back with a big glass of something cold and be entertained.

Open Bar theatre has an in-house casting process that focuses on inclusivity and representation, with a cast from an often untapped mine of talented un-agented actors, performers who have not taken the traditional drama school route into the profession and actors from working class backgrounds. In contrast to pre-conceived notions of classical theatre casting, actors will perform outside of their ‘usual roles’, and the show’s cast is as varied as the audience.

Open Bar Theatre is a female-led company formed in 2016 by Nicky Diss and Vicky Gaskin creating theatre which is accessible to everyone. The company adopts a lively, informal style for its performances, which fits perfectly with the relaxed setting of a picturesque pub garden. Co-Artistic Directors Nicky Diss and Vicky Gaskin said, “Bringing classic texts to life for an unconventional audience in unusual settings has always been our forte. Before we started making theatre for Fullers, we brought lively theatrical adaptations to libraries throughout London with our sister company Open Book Theatre. Just as we did with libraries, we found theatre and pub gardens is a perfect combination and in Fullers we have found a supportive and enthusiastic partner who see our productions as the cherry on the cake of their punter’s experience.”

This summer you can catch Twelfth Night (3 July – 24 August) with four actors, original songs, and a modern aesthetic. Audiences can expect tomfoolery, disguises and audience interaction as shipwrecked twins Viola and Sebastian negotiate tricky love triangles in the classic farce of mistaken identity.


Opening soon is Romeo and Juliet (24 July – 15 September), Open Bar Theatre up the comedy and take out some of the dignity that the two houses are alike in, and take over Fullers’ bigger gardens. With original songs and Elizabethan costumes, young love, passion, and sword fighting takes place across a two-storey rig.

More information and tickets available on the Fuller’s Pubs website: https://www.fullers.co.uk/event-finder/shakespeare-in-the-garden

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