A popular theatre group are to leave the stage for their first park performance in almost 100 years.
The new and free amateur Huddersfield Thespians production promises to be a real breath of fresh air when it is performed in Greenhead Park from July 7 to 10.
It’s the first time the group has done such an event since 1922.
Shakespeare in the Park will mark the 400th anniversary of the bard’s death and will feature a medley of some of the most famous scenes he penned.
Extracts from Romeo and Juliet, Macbeth, Twelfth Night, A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Henry V will all be performed by a cast of 30 adult and child actors, and will be directed by five different people.
They will cast new lights on the favourite moments by using different approaches and setting each scene in a different time period.
And in another twist, the actors will move around the park to make use of its natural sets, such as the bandstand, the Ramsden fountain, the war memorial and the Italian and Rose gardens.
It is a big departure from the Thespians’ normal stage at the Lawrence Batley Theatre.
Lynne Whitaker, co-producer of the project and secretary of the Huddersfield Thespians explained why they had chosen to bring Shakespeare’s works into the outdoors.
“Shakespeare wrote his plays to be performed outdoors - at the Globe Theatre - and in front of a lively audience that were wandering around, eating, drinking and joining in,” said Lynne.
“We wanted to celebrate the life of Shakespeare in a way that reflected this.
“It is quite a departure for us. The Thespians last performed in Greenhead Park in 1922 but we wanted to do something special to mark this big anniversary and that also showcased our beautiful park.
“We hope that people will come along and enjoy the informal, fun atmosphere.
People can follow the whole show round the park or just drop into their favourite scenes.”
Audience members should gather at the Conservatory Café by the main gates of the park at 6.30pm.
They will then be guided to the first scene, from Romeo and Juliet, which will begin at the bandstand starting around 6.45pm. A scene from the Twelfth Night will begin at around 7.15pm by the Ramsden fountain and the war memorial will be used for Henry V from around 7.55pm.
A 20-minute interval will follow before A Midsummer Night’s Dream starts at around 8.40pm at the grove of trees near the Italian garden.
The production will finish with an extract from Macbeth at around 9.05pm by the rose garden.
The Conservatory Café will be open at the start of the show for drinks and refreshments.
The show is free — for more information, go to www.huddersfieldthespians.co.uk