Ten-second takeaway

Take four boys, four bicycles and a whole load of biking paraphernalia, and you have Shakespeare as you’ve never seen it before.

Pedal power

Very few things have been ‘reinvented’ more times than William Shakespeare’s plays. But the HandleBards take reinterpretation to a whole new level, performing over forty characters among them with the help of cycles and camping equipment. Confused? We were too, but having seen them in action when they were in town last year, we’re absolute converts. Last time around, Macbeth and The Comedy of Errors were hilariously funny and infinitely accessible, so we can’t wait to see what they’ve done with Hamlet and A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

Ardent eco-warriors as well as talented thespians, the HandleBards spent last summer cycling 1,500 miles to perform these plays around the UK – a feat they managed entirely off-grid. Sadly they couldn’t quite make it all the way to India on two wheels, but the cycling theme remains, and they’ll apparently be using their bicycles to power some unusual on-stage contraptions (we’re as intrigued as you are).

On their bikes

Antics aside, the group – made up of Matthew Seager, Callum Brodie, Tom Dixon and Calum Hughes-McIntosh – has some pretty serious credentials. Both the plays are directed by Royal Shakespeare Company’s James Farell, and they’ve been described by none other than noted English actor Sir Ian McKellen as ‘uproariously funny’.

So, we’re thinking…

With 13 shows over a two-week period at three venues across the city, there’s plenty of opportunities to see this quirky quartet in action. Every show was booked out last time they were here, so get your tickets pronto.

Where: Jagriti Theatre, Jagriti Renaissance, Varthur Rd, Near Adarsh Palm Meadows, Ramagondanahalli, Whitefield; Ranga Shankara, 36/2, 8th Cross Road, JP Nagar, 2nd Phase and KEA Prabhath Rangamandira, CA Site No. 1, 8th Main Road, 2nd Cross, Kamalanagar

When: A Midsummer Night’s Dream: Friday, January 15 to Sunday, January 17 at Jagriti Theatre; Tuesday, January 19 at Ranga Shankara and Thursday, January 21 to Friday, January 23 at KEA Prabhath Rangamandira.

Hamlet: Wednesday, January 20 at Ranga Shankara; Friday, January 22 at KEA Prabhath Rangamandira and Friday, January 29 to Sunday, January 31 at Jagriti Theatre.

Price: INR 300

Buy tickets to the event here.

Find them on Facebook here.

Check out their website here.

Featured image via:  The HandleBards