Fuller’s has announced the return of its Shakespeare in the Garden season, running this year from July 9 to September 14 at several of the pub company’s venues.

Produced by theatre company Open Bar, this year’s production sees two of the Bard’s favourites — Romeo and Juliet and The Merry Wives of Windsor — are staged in pub gardens across the Fuller’s estate. This is the eighth year running that Fuller’s pub customers have been able to enjoy alfresco productions by Britain’s greatest playwright.

This is the second year that two shows have been produced — a compact performance, which this year is Romeo and Juliet, for those pubs with smaller outside spaces, and a classic show, The Merry Wives of Windsor.

Customers can attend one of 20 performances of Romeo and Juliet, across 14 Fuller’s pubs, from July 9 to August 3. Following, this run, The Merry Wives of Windsor will be staged at 18 pubs, with 27 performances, from July 30 to September 14.

Open Bar co-founder, Nicky Diss, said: “We’re really excited to be working with Fuller’s for the fourth year. Over the last three years we’ve really got to know the Shakespeare in the Garden audiences, so I know these two plays will be very popular. The relaxed atmosphere of the pub garden is perfect for allowing everyone to be a part of the story and laugh along with us.”

Co-founder Vicky Gaskin added: “Romeo and Juliet is such a well-loved classic and we’ll be using a modern interpretation to retell the story. I’m sure our audiences will be enthralled as the actors battle it out on the streets of Verona. Yes, there will be swords, yes there will be laughter (this is Open Bar after all!), but will there be a happy ending? No. Obviously not!

“This is the first time The Merry Wives of Windsor has been performed as part of Fuller’s Shakespeare in the Garden, and it comes due to popular request from our previous audiences. This epic farce, chaotic comedy, and multi-prank fiesta is based around the larger-than-life character Falstaff and the formidable women he comes up against. It’s absolutely the perfect play for a pub garden setting.”

• A full list of venues, performances and ticket prices can be found at fullers.co.uk/pubs/shakespeare-in-the-garden

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