Bart Players bring a unique production to Belfast

Tuesday January 17th 2012

Amateur Drama group the Bart Players are rising to the challenge posed by the Royal Shakespeare Company’s (RSC) Open Stages Project.

In a unique production, they will transform St Bartholomew’s Church, hall and other spaces into ‘The Globe Motel’ for three days in February.

The Open Stages project has invited amateur dramatic groups across the UK and Ireland to do ‘something new’ related to Shakespeare. Productions will be assisted in a small way by the RSC and by its regional partners, in the Bart Players’ case Belfast’s Lyric Theatre.

In July 2012, one company from each of the participating regions will be invited to perform in Stratford–Upon–Avon in the RSC World Festival of Shakespeare.

Bart Players, in partnership with the Dublin Shakespeare Society, have risen to the challenge and devised an entirely new production, ‘The Globe Motel,’ with a script that intercuts the characters and text from eight of Shakespeare’s most popular works.

St Bartholomew’s Church in Stranmillis Road, Belfast, the adjoining Canon Lindsay Hall any many of its spaces will be transformed into a ‘motel’ for what will be a promenade performance.

The opening scenes are in the ballroom (Main hall): Act 2 will move into various locations in the motel – reception, kitchen, bedrooms, stores, church – with a number of scenes playing simultaneously as the audience choose which piece of action to follow. Act 3 will bring the audience back to the ballroom for the finale.

The Belfast performances are on February 23, 24 and 25 at 8pm and on February 25 at 3pm.

Afterwards, the production travels to Dublin where it is hosted by Findlater’s Church, Parnell Square. This too will be transformed into a motel and its halls and spaces will become performance areas. The Findlater’s Church performances are March 23 at 5pm and 8pm and March 24 at 3pm and 8pm.

A spokesperson for the Bart Players said the production would be ‘different, exciting and intriguing.’

“The Bart Players are deeply grateful to Rector the Rev Ron Elsdon (no stranger to the stage) for his encouragement and to the Select Vestry for facilitating us in this exciting project,” said the spokesperson. “We issue everyone the warmest of invitations to ‘check into’ the Globe Motel and enjoy the Bard’s wonderful and occasionally weird world of wit and wisdom.”


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