Fuller’s has announced the return of Shakespeare in the Garden this September, with a production of The Tempest by theatre company Open Bar.
This is the ninth year running that Fuller’s pub customers have been able to enjoy alfresco productions from Britain’s greatest playwright, but this year, of course, with a socially distanced twist.
Customers can attend one of 21 performances of The Tempest across 14 Fuller’s pubs from 1st to 30th September. Tickets must be purchased in advance from fullers.co.uk/event-finder/shakespeare-in-the-garden
Open Bar co-founder and director, Nicky Diss, said: “Every year we try to bring accessible and fun Shakespeare shows to Fuller’s pub gardens, and this year, we all need inspiring theatre more than ever. We’re dusting off our aerial rig and The Tempest will be blowing into a beer garden near you.”
Open Bar Theatre was formed in 2016 by Nicky and Vicky Gaskin, to produce Shakespeare for Fuller’s pub gardens. It is a female-led company, creating theatre that is accessible to everyone. The company adopts a lively, informal style for its performances, which fits perfectly with the relaxed setting of a picturesque pub garden.
Vicky said: “Our audiences are a real mix of pub-goers and theatre fans. We love them all, but nothing beats witnessing someone enjoying Shakespeare for the first time. The more reluctant they are at the beginning, the more magical it is.”
This year has, of course, been a bit different. Nicky says: “Trying to produce a show in 2020 has been a rollercoaster, to say the least. Fuller’s has been so positive and supportive throughout and, in a world where all artists are feeling undervalued and concerned for their future, we feel immensely privileged to be able to provide work for creatives — and ourselves.
“We certainly don’t shy away from a challenge. We love making theatre in unconventional spaces, so why not in unconventional times? Two years ago, Nicky gave birth a week before we went into rehearsals and I got married between rehearsals and opening night, so incorporating social distancing isn’t likely to intimidate us.”