Strapped to a Lunatic: Sonnets, in action, with actors

Type:Performing Arts

Norden Farm Centre for the Arts, Altwood Road, Maidenhead, Berkshire, SL6 4PF

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David Neilson


Names from stage and screen bring Shakespeare’s sonnets to life 

A group of actors come together to recite Shakespeare in a completely unique performance, all in the aid of charity. Strapped to a Lunatic: Sonnets, in action, with actors is on Saturday 12 December at 5pm and 8pm. 

In March 2020 theatres and film sets closed in the UK and around the world.

How did some actors, directors and academics pass the time? They met by Zoom every week for six months and threw themselves in to Shakespeare’s sonnets. 

Hailing from Tel Aviv to Swansea, from Venice to Newcastle, the acting company includes Steffan Rhodri (Gavin and Stacey, Harry Potter), David Neilson (Roy Cropper from Coronation Street), Miles Jupp (The Thick Of It, Rev, Greed). Other actors have played at National Theatres from Ammanford to Tokyo, the Royal Shakespeare Company, the West End and Broadway. TV and film credits include everything from Z Cars to The Crown. 

This show is part master class, part rehearsal, part sharing, part spoken word gig, part group therapy, and all audience participation. The actors share what they have learned about the sonnets during lockdown. 

The only script is the sonnets and anything could happen. Professor Carol Chillington Rutter (Professor of Shakespeare and Performance Studies, University of Warwick) will be on hand with a complete works, a microphone and a bell, if things start getting out of hand. Expect a fun, unpretentious, accessible, cliche-busting, myth torpedoing introduction to playing Shakespeare. Come, listen, participate, heckle and leave everything you’ve learned about Shakespeare at the door. 

The event is in aid of Norden’s Ark Appeal and Harry’s Fund. Harry’s Fund is a charity founded by Christian Patterson, one of the actors appearing at the event. When 5 year old Harry Patterson died in a tragic accident outside the family home, his family found there was precious little help available to get them through their darkest hours. They set up a charity in Harry’s name to help people who have lost children in sudden or accidental death circumstances.

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