‘Shakespeare always seems to have something to say to us’ Nelson Mandela
Shakespeare in the Squares is a new, not-for-profit touring theatre company that stages a Shakespeare play in London garden squares for one night in each venue every summer. The productions are tailored to the individual garden squares. Their aim is to provide a showcase for talented young theatre practitioners and to introduce our audiences to the stars of the future. We pay the actors Equity recommended rates and the productions will be innovative, exciting and of the highest professional standard. Productions are funded through a combination of ticket sales, grants and sponsorship from local businesses and organisations.
This summer, in June 2017, PaddingtonNow BID presented their performance of Romeo and Juliet tailored specifically to Norfolk Square Gardens attracting new audiences seeking a one-off cultural experience. Time Out magazine listed it as one of the hottest outdoor events of the Summer, describing the production as having “a fun vibe and clear unpretentious storytelling.” The Stage gave us four stars: “delightful open air Shakespeare. Realistic fights and exuberant music.”
Dame Judi Dench, CH, DBE, FRSA, Patron of Shakespeare in the Squares says:
When I first heard about Shakespeare in the Squares, my instant reaction was, ‘That is a marvellous idea; why hasn’t anyone done it before?’ To take William Shakespeare, whose timeless plays always have something important to say about the human condition, into idyllic gardens and other iconic spaces, offers a great opportunity to engage new and non-traditional audiences of all ages. It also provides talented young practitioners with a showcase to display their skills at an early stage in their careers, and the Company’s aim to do this is to be hugely welcomed. I am delighted to support this imaginative and ambitious initiative and hope that it will quickly spread far-and-wide.
The press approved:
“A fun vibe and clear unpretentious storytelling.” Time Out
“A square deal for the family with multi-cultural casting and fabulous forties Italian costumes.” Daily Mail
“Delightful open air Shakespeare. Realistic fights and exuberant music.” The Stage
“Enjoyable – a lovely introduction to Shakespeare for the uninitiated.” Broadway World
“Summer evenings, lush garden squares and a masterfully acted Shakespeare play.” Garden Square News
And once again the audiences loved it:
“Terrific. I’ve seen many over the years and your production was easily one of the best. It was so imaginative and fresh – wonderful acting and wonderful direction.” Jacqueline Korn Glasser
“I loved it! There’s a magic in watching a story unfolding outdoors that makes it more Shakespearean. And the charming, multi-talented, musical, super-athletic group of actors played into all of that – as moving and intimate a performance as I’ve ever seen.” Jackie Ivimy
“The production was wonderful. The audience was transfixed and I loved the direct interaction with them. There were a lot of children and I am sure they will be Shakespeare fans for life now.”