Shakespeare in the Garden returns for 2021

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Everyone's favourite pub garden performance is making a return this summer with two different shows hosted across a number of Fuller's venues. 

This outdoor theatre experience allows you to immerse yourself in a unique performance of Shakespeare as it was intended - informal, outrageous and with a drink in hand. Whether you are a lover of all things Shakespeare, relish an outdoor theatre experience, or have never seen a play before, Shakespeare in the Garden 2021 is not to be missed.

Tickets are now on sale

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WHAT TO EXPECT

This year’s production will once again take centre stage in pub gardens across the Fuller’s estate. Fuller's customers can now look forward to this special alfresco production from Britain’s greatest playwright.

Shakespeare in the Garden is a comedic, fast-paced performance. The shows are suitable for people of all ages and would make a great family outing. Of course, Shakespeare in the Garden is enjoyed by Shakespeare lovers, but if you haven’t seen a Shakespeare play before, this would be the perfect introduction.

We managed to run over 20 shows of The Tempest across our pubs last September. Although things had to be a bit different from previous years, the show still went on. We can't wait make it even bigger and better with two new stories across more Fuller's pubs this year!

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THIS YEAR'S SHOWS

We all need a “Summer of Love” more than ever, and the two plays this year are full of comedy, romance and adventure! 

Love's Labour's Lost

Open Bar be back in Fullers pub gardens with their unique, modern and fast-paced production of Love's Labour's Lost. Four men decide to lock themselves away from all human connection to study and improve themselves, and find it really isn't as simple as that, especially when the Princess of France and her three beautiful friends are coming to stay.

Four couples separated by an oath, a “fantastical spaniard” longing for a forbidden love, misplaced letters, a ridiculous play-within-a-play, a chorus of ukuleles, lightning-fast costume changes, drinks at your fingertips. We can't wait to bring you the kind of entertainment we all deserve this summer: laughter, romance and, perhaps most importantly, the longest word in Shakespeare! 

As You Like It

Run away with Rosalind and Celia as the Forest of Arden quite literally lands in your local pub garden this summer with Open Bar's production of As You Like It. Rosalind escapes her vicious uncle, dresses as a boy (because this is Shakespeare after all) and heads for the forest. There she meets a group of shepherds, and the boy she loves who also happens to be on the run from her uncle.

It may look fresh out of Shakespeare’s day, but Open Bar makes sure it’s as relevant as ever, with original songs to help you follow the plot and six actors leaping around our two-storey set, what more could you ask for this summer?! Oh yes, a pint in your hand and a friend by your side! You will gasp at the spectacle, laugh til your sides hurt and be humming the tunes for weeks afterwards.

Shakespeare in the Garden at Fuller's pubs

THE PERFORMERS 

Open Bar Theatre was formed in 2015 by Nicky Diss and Vicky Gaskin to produce Shakespeare for Fuller’s pub gardens. It is a female-led company who create theatre that is accessible to everyone. The company adopts a lively, informal style for its performances, which fits perfectly with the relaxed setting of a picturesque pub garden.  

Open Bar co-founder and director, Nicky Diss, said: “Every year we try to bring accessible and fun Shakespeare shows to Fuller's pub gardens and, this year, we all need inspiring theatre more than ever. We're dusting off our aerial rig and Shakespeare will be blowing into a beer garden near you.” 

Vicky says: “Our audiences are a real mix of pub goers and theatre fans. We love them all but nothing beats witnessing someone enjoying Shakespeare for the first time. The more reluctant they are at the beginning, the more magical it is.”

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SUPPORTING THE ARTS

Last year's Shakespeare in the Garden performance, The Tempest, was of course, a little bit different. Nicky says: “Trying to produce a show in 2020 was a roller coaster to say the least. Fuller’s has been so positive and supportive throughout and, in a world where all artists are feeling undervalued and concerned for their future, we feel immensely privileged to be able to provide work for creatives – and ourselves.” 

Vicky says: “We certainly don’t shy away from a challenge. We love making theatre in unconventional spaces, so why not in unconventional times? Two years ago, Nicky gave birth a week before we went into rehearsals and I got married between rehearsals and opening night, so incorporating social distancing isn't likely to intimidate us.” 

After a year of lockdowns and social distancing we're now excited to bring another bold performance, with original music, vibrant costumes and a hint of aerial circus. Open Bar serves Shakespeare like a cool frothy pint on a sunny day: it's refreshing, comforting and will have you singing all the way home. 

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WANT TO KNOW MORE?

Shakespeare in the Garden has been running for many years and tickets always sell out. With a reduced capacity, we recommend securing your tickets as soon as they go on sale. 

Tickets and more information