To begin with Blackadder, as much as the classic, written by Richard Curtis, fondly remembered from Atkison’s well remembered turn as the titular character, and Tony Robinson’s zany Baldrick, is loved, so is the new tradition of the Everyman open air theatre company.
Last year’s open air festival gained rave reviews across the board, with talented actors, sharp scripts and scene stealing scenery that worked with the weather, time of day and naturally lovely setting of Sophia Gardens to create a memorable atmosphere throughout.
The regency version of the character holds the task of opening this much-loved festival; running until July the 4th. Praised by the ability of keeping the play as funny as before, taking a bold risk and paying it off as a real crowd pleaser.
After this institution of a comedy makes way for the new play, we are greeted by Sweet Charity, the story of taxi dancer, Charity, holding onto hope that her sleazy life can be traded for a new, romantic one, she falls for actuary Oscar, under the false pretence of being a respectable bank girl – how will he handle the truth in this musical romp, that features the iconic songs Big Spender and the Rhythm of Life.
Next is the turn of Shakespeare, with As You Like It. This comedy features the exiled Rosalind meeting her love, Orlanda in her disguise, with the complications of her gender swap played out in cutting cleverness, in a story whose appeal has stood the test of time.
From centuries to decades again, the festival is rounded out with what’s certain to be a hit with old and new alike, the junior production of Beauty and the Beast. The beautiful, instantly recognisable music against inventive costumes is a production of what many believe is Disney’s finest. With a remake due soon, and countless amounts of merchandise, and audience adoration, this is sure to be a finishing touch that will enchant audience’s.
Following from the resounding success of last year, with a brilliant new line up, and side shows on some Sundays, such as the Forte sing alongs and free junior production of Hamlet, this expansion of the always entertaining festival should find a spot in the time-table of any who love theatre and song.
For more information on the season check out;