At Liverpool’s Hope University, The Cambridge Shakespeare Festival will be putting on performances of The Merchant of Venice, Romeo and Juliet and Much Ado About Nothing at its Library Quadrangle on the Childwall campus.
The Festival runs from 6-11 July, before it appears at five of Cambridge’s colleges from 13 July until 29 August. There will be four performances of each play in Liverpool, two matinee and two evening shows, with a further three Shakespeare plays being performed in Cambridge.
The university’s head of performing arts, Birkenhead-born David Crilly, established the festival in 1988 and has only recently returned to Liverpool having spent over two decades at Cambridge’s Anglia Ruskin University. The annual arts event in East Anglia attracts over 30,000 visitors from around the world.
Actors and directors will be on campus for three weeks rehearsing shows in Liverpool, before staging the three touring productions. Auditions have been held in both Liverpool and Cambridge.
Elsewhere, Shakespeare’s Macbeth is being staged outdoors in the beautiful surroundings of Wirral’s Royden Park in Frankby, near West Kirby.
Presented by the Hillbark Players, an amateur company founded in 1964, a purpose-built 440-seat theatre will be constructed on the public park with all seats under cover. Evening performances at 8pm, including a matinee on Saturday 27 June at 2.30pm, will take place from Monday 22 June. Tickets can be purchased in advance from the Floral Pavilion on 0151 666 0000.
Tickets for The Cambridge Shakespeare Festival are priced from £6-£12. Call 0151 291 3578 for further details. Performance dates and times are as follows:
Romeo and Juliet - Monday 6 and Tuesday 7 July, 2pm and 7.30pm
Much Ado About Nothing - Wednesday 8 and Thursday 9 July, 2pm and 7.30pm
The Merchant of Venice - Friday 10 and Saturday 11 July, 2pm and 7.30pm