RMT celebrate Shakespeare’s 400th Anniversary in style at Historical Hereford Day – Castle Green

Hello again my lovely readers.  Have once again been rather busy with one thing and another and thus have not had a chance to do a blog post for you.

Doubtless you will remember that we were due to perform our first ever Rough Magic Theatre show at Historical Hereford Day at a lovely park called Castle Green on the 23rd of July.  We decided to relaunch the show in honour of the 400th Anniversary of Shakespeare’s death this year after an extended gap where Alice in Wonderland took over as our main 2 hander touring show.

After some extensive rehearsing we got the show back in ship shape and it was a real treat to give the show an airing again.

For the Historical Hereford Day we performed our shorter version of the show which we use for street/outdoor performances (30 minutes instead of the full hour long version for indoor performances).

If I have been to Hereford in the past I do not remember and I have to say that it was great to have an excuse to visit such a beautiful area of the country and Castle Green itself was a lovely setting.  We had of course given thought as to what we might do should the weather be wet but luckily plan B was not necessary as it was a perfect sunny and clear day.

There were lots of other Elizabethan/Shakespeare themed attractions on the day including music, dancing an Elizabethan jester and (oddly enough) Kate Bliss the antiques expert off the telly!

I decided I would not be awed by Kate Bliss merely because she is on the television.  When I happened to be passing walked straight past without making a fuss, (though I did get a good sidelong glance at her and discovered that she looked surprisingly like a normal person and did not have a glowing aura of celebrity or anything like that ;)).

I told my co-performer Leo Nolan-Evans about the presence of a minor celebrity but did not get a satisfying reaction as Leo does not have a television.

Anyway….Our two performances of “The Tempest” went very well with a large audience for the first and a more modest but appreciative crowd for our second performance.

We were told by more than one member of the audience how much they’d enjoyed it and what a great introduction to Shakespeare for kids the show is.

During the second showing there was a man who was taking a recording of the show on a camcorder and not only did he record the whole thing but was polite enough to come and ask our permission to use the footage on his Youtube channel!  How often are people good enough to bother doing that?  This was great news because it meant that I was able to get a copy of the footage too which was very interesting for us as this is the first time we have seen video footage of the street theatre version of the show.  So many thanks to Timothy for the footage!  The sound and picture quality are not great but it gives a general idea (please visit the show page on our main website to see our video trailer with footage of the indoor version of the show by clicking HERE):



If you would like to book the indoor or outdoor version of this show or to book any of our other shows or workshops please CLICK HERE to contact us  🙂


“The Interrupted Wedding” Shadow Show goes to Ladybarn Primary School

Hello again everybody.  Sorry to have gone a bit quiet for a while. This January I have been mostly attending lots of networking meetings, making plans for the year etc.  So I thought I’d wait till I had something a bit more exciting to blog about.

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Last week though I visited Ladybarn Primary School in Manchester.  The Year 2s were doing a project called Puppets & Magic.  The teachers planned to make hand puppets out of felt with the children and wanted them to be inspired by seeing some professionally made puppets. So I performed our Shadow Puppet Show “The Interrupted Wedding” and did a bit of a lecture demonstration looking at different types of puppet from around the world and some of the history etc.  Then I showed the children some performance techniques and then the children played with different types of puppets themselves. “The Interrupted Wedding” is performed using an umbrella for a shadow screen and is a show we use for parties as well as in schools. The show went down extremely well with the children who really enjoyed the story.  This story is an original one written by Rough Magic Theatre’s own Tim Austin.  It is always nice when children tell you they have enjoyed something without being prompted.  In my experience children give very honest reactions compared to adults who might want to be polite and spare your feelings. They also seemed to particularly enjoy seeing some of the puppets from other Rough Magic Theatre productions that I brought in for them to see.  There were 2 rod puppets from our version of Shakespeare’s The Tempest, (Stephano and Caliban), the “Pig/Baby” double ended “mouth” puppet  from Alice in Wonderland and the Bunraku style Alice puppet with real hair, (which came off my own head).  The Alice puppet is fun to show how she works as you can see all her insides by lifting up her dress, (kids always find that kind of thing funny) and then of course her head can be removed to show the hand control.  Seeing the Alice puppet’s body without its head is also something children appreciate a lot! The next school we are visiting is in Keighley where we will be doing our “Hansel & Gretel” show and doing a shoe-box toy theatre workshop.  You can read about this workshop in an earlier blog post HERE. If you are interested in booking any of the above shows or workshops please get in contact.  Click HERE to get in touch.