More details have been revealed of plans for this year”s Liverpool Shakespeare Festival, which takes place at the newly refurbished Royal Court between September 21 and October 14. Taking centre-stage this year are two brand new productions performed in repertory by the same cast of nine actors: Macbeth and A Midsummer Night’s Dream.
Joining an all-new Lodestar cast are Zoe Lister – better known as Hollyoaks’ Zoe Carpenter – as Lady Macbeth and Michael Ryan (Steven Spielberg’s War Horse, Guy Ritchie’s Rocknrolla).
Launching in 2006, the Liverpool Shakespeare Festival started out as an outdoor summer event, with previous venues including Liverpool Cathedral’s St James’ Gardens, Novas CUC and St George’s Hall.
Also on the playbill is The Beat of The Human Heart – a youth project run in partnership with Royal Court Liverpool focusing on how Shakespeare’s plays can still speak to us today; and collective show ‘Come and Have a Go if You Think You’re Bard Enough’ returns with a single, unique performance of Hamlet unlike any other.
Max Rubin, director and founder of Lodestar Theatre Company said; “2011 was a breakthrough year for Lodestar and Liverpool Shakespeare Festival. This year we’ve packed in more bard than ever.
“We’re doing two shows at once! Both are being rehearsed by the same cast over a five week rehearsal period. The shows couldn’t be more different from one another, and creating them together has been an exciting challenge. Both plays have been cut down to about 90mins running time but retained the original language. Expect a feast for the senses whether you see Macbeth or the Dream. They are designed as two halves of a whole and hopefully people will want to see them both.”
Producer Simon Hedger added: “This year’s festival is centred on how these amazing stories still say so much about our lives. We’ve used Macbeth and the Dream as a starting point for a whole range of events across several mediums designed to showcase the amazing diversity of talent within the city – there is something for everyone. ‘Shakespeare for the 21st century.’”