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Shakespeare's Royal Variety

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Shakespeare in Woodways Rec 04
Shakespeare in Woodways Rec 01

Promised as a 'a right good Jubilee knees up', the first of five performances of this open air theatre piece at Woodways recreation ground on Friday , certainly delivered.

A cast of 13 professional and amateur actors from the company 'All the World's a Stage ' (ATWAS) created a Jubilee themed entertainment, skillfully weaving together extracts from the Shakespeare canon. The story was told of 'upstairs' and 'downstairs in the Royal Household of King Theseus as preparations commence for the Jubilee celebrations of the King and Queen. The star-crossed lovers, the runaway daughter and the inebriated Master of Ceremonies all made an appearance.

Live music was also an integral part of the proceedings and included ' American Pie' by Don McLean, 'Shallow' by Lady Gaga, 'O Mio Babbino Caro' by Puccini and ' 500 miles' by The Proclaimers.

ATWAS was created by Charlotte Miranda-Smith , a professional singer and actor who was born and bred in Haddenham. Charlotte formed ATWAS to provide more creative opportunities for her students and for other professional actors frustrated at the lack of performing opportunities during the pandemic. Charlotte wrote, produced and directed 'Shakespeare's Royal Variety'.

The entertainment provided fun and laughter and much enjoyment for the audience who brought along their picnics and embraced the open air in this quintessential English setting. We left having appreciated our favourite Shakespeare phrases and humming some of the well-known tunes.

'With mirth and laughter let old wrinkles come' (The Merchant of Venice Act1, Sc1).

The finely crafted outdoor production was repeated with four additional presentations, two in Headington, Oxford and two more in Haddenham — each received with warm appreciation by an enthusiastic audience.

Lots of photographs have been published on the Flickr website.

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