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02 August 2016

BARDS ALOUD! Bringing Shakespeare’s characters alive in Barrow



Where would a lovesick Romeo go for a drink on a Saturday night in Barrow?

And just where does Lady Macbeth do her shopping?

These are some of the pressing questions people are being invited to tackle in writing short Shakespeare-inspired sketches.  The best ones will be performed live by professional actors at a special red carpet premiere in November at Barrow Library.

The 2016 Bard in Barrow festival forms part of the BBC’s Shakespeare celebrations - marking 400 years since the famous playwright’s death.  The festival is being organised by Barrow Library in partnership with Up For Arts Cumbria and funded by the Arts Council.

Jennie Dennett who is organising the Bard in Barrow festival this year, said:

“We’re inviting Shakespeare’s characters to play out in Barrow and seeing what high drama comes out. Love in the Nines, Witches in the Town Hall, Blood on the dance floor� anything could happen! It’ll be up to people to brew up whatever scenario lights their creative fires!”

Two free creative writing workshop events are being held at Barrow Library in September - Saturday 3rd and 17th to help people develop and enhance their 5 minute scripts, aided by two local professional writers. . 

Ruth Prosser, from Cumbria Library Service said:

“People don’t need to have done anything like this before or even know much about Shakespeare - all the help they need will be provided at the workshops.  It’s a fantastic opportunity to work with professional writers and actors to play with the Bard’s language and have their work produced and performed live.”

Councillor Ian Stewart, Cumbria County Council Cabinet Member for Public Services said:

"It's great that Barrow libraries continue to work with partners to deliver interesting and innovative events for the town.  As someone once sang: Brush up your Shakespeare...and join in; you never know what it might lead to!"

Barrow poet Kate Davis and Ulverston writer Zosia Wand will be helping people bring new life to the Bard’s characters when creating their scripts at the drop-in workshop events. The pair are well known among the local arts scene, and previously had their work broadcast by the BBC.  They’ll also be judging the finished scripts.

The best six scripts will be performed at Barrow Library at a red carpet premiere on November 10 at 6pm with Tudor-themed refreshments. There will also be an opportunity for the best work to be broadcast on BBC Radio Cumbria. 

To take part, book a free place with Barrow Library on 01229 407373.
Where would a lovesick Romeo go for a drink on a Saturday night in Barrow?