Shopping With Shakespeare
The 'Shopping with Shakespeare' concept began in 2005 when I lived in Newcastle-upon-Tyne and found it frustrating that not only were there very few venues where we could perform but those that were available charged impossible rates to use them, so I put my imagination into gear and started seeking out alternative venues. In doing so, a new creative door was opened. I sought out museums, libraries, tourist offices, hospitals, galleries, hospitals, castles, stately homes (HMP Durham!) and of course shops and instead of taxing audiences with entire Shakespeare plays, used brief but famous scenes and updated them by blending them with the ordinary people who were using the venues for the purposes for which they were designed, de-mystifying Shakespeare and winning new audiences for those who might never go to the theatre. It worked well and since then I've managed to film 10 more, most in France in French and some in the UK in English, some with audiences, some without. It also proved possible to persuade UK venues to donate a token amount to fund tours and I would then take the event to whichever local councils or authorities and ask them to match-fund or top-up the smaller amounts so paid work became more feasible for semi-professional actors. In France I managed to expand the concept by working in French because although Shakespeare wrote many famous scenes which happen in France in some of his plays, it's widely presumed (known?) he never visited them in person. With SWS 5 for example and SWS8, we were able to reproduce in reality what Shakespeare had only imagined, which was amazing. See the results for yourself. There is no SWS 7 due to the classic 'administrative oversight'. Ahem.