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RSC Announces Free Outdoor Shakespeare Snapshots Through August

RSC Announces Free Outdoor Shakespeare Snapshots Through August
By Michelle Sciarrotta

The RSC has announced a run of free outdoor shows will take place throughout August, entitled “Shakespeare Snapshots”. Performances will commence on Saturday 1st August, and show for the entirety of the month.

Shakespeare Snapshots Practicalities

In accordance with the UK government’s social distancing guidelines, the Shakespeare Snapshots shows will be held in the Dell Gardens outside the RSC building in Stratford-upon-Avon. The space will accommodate audiences on a first come, first served basis with a capacity of eight groups with a maximum of 6 people each, and additional standing space.

The shows will not be ticketed, and although audience space will be allocated to those who arrive first, the company requests that people do not arrive more than 30 minutes before the start of performances.

The RSC has also added that they will require audience members to submit a contact number on the day in order to use the Test and Trace system, which has been implemented in the UK as a means to contact those who have been in close proximity with others who subsequently are diagnosed with Covid-19.

The Shows

Shakespeare Snapshots will be a series of 45-minute performances that take place twice a day at 1pm and 3pm from Friday to Sunday after the initial launch on Saturday 1st August.

All shows will be non-costumed pop-up performances that will change weekly. The shows will include sonnets and speeches taken from various Shakespeare works, and will be performed by a series of actors who were due to star in the RSC’s now postponed productions The Winter’s Tale and The Comedy of Errors.

In alignment with the shows, the RSC’s Riverside Café will be open for audiences to enjoy a takeaway service.

RSC artistic director, Gregory Doran, said:

“Our buildings may be closed but our commitment to Stratford-upon-Avon is as strong as ever. We are delighted to be working with our current acting company, who would otherwise be performing in The Winter’s Tale and The Comedy of Errors, to deliver this unique scratch programme of socially-distanced, outdoor Shakespeare, and though it may not have lights and costume, and the full bells and whistles of a normal RSC show, is sure to be a welcome treat for anyone who, like me, has been missing live theatre these last few months.”

Online Options

If you’re not based in the UK or in the vicinity of the RSC to partake in Shakespeare Snapshots, you can still enjoy a range of content the company has shared online for free.

Sonnets in Solitude is a collection of RSC actors reading Shakespeare’s sonnets from their home or garden and currently features 25 videos.

Midsummer Festival is a free events and activities celebration inspired by Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. The online resources include short films, Pyramus and Thisbe’s online date, an acting masterclass with Nicholas Bottom and more.

The Winter’s Tale activity pack is a jam-packed offering of creative tasks for all the family to enjoy together, such as physically doing a warm-up activity, different stories inspired by the play, as well as video and text versions of The Winter’s Tale. There are tasks for little ones pitched from ages 6+ whereby they can delve into character analysis, craft skills to make a bear, letter writing, and learn how to create a soundscape.

Share Your Shakespeare

In this digital age of lockdown and social distancing, the RSC has also encouraged followers to interact with the hashtag #ShareYourShakespeare and share their homemade Shakespeare creations online. The RSC outlines that with the permission and supervision of a parent or guardian, followers can take part by uploading a film or photograph of their creations on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or YouTube and tag @theRSC to share. More about Share Your Shakespeare.

Also by Michelle Sciarrotta:

#MakeWomen Visible Supported by UK Musicians’ Union

Louise Golbey: Interview with a London based Musician

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