Local outdoor drama group Outspoken Theatre return this week with their annual production of Shakespeare, touring it to various venues in and around Haverhill.
The Comedy Of Errors is their choice for 2014, a hilarious farce of mistaken identity among two sets of identical twins.
Performances run from Saturday, July 26, to Saturday, August 2, at a variety of venues including pub gardens, parks and churchyards.
The actors come together once a year to tackle a Shakespeare play, rehearsing and performing in the open air, which makes a change for many of them who are also seen regularly on the stage of Haverhill Arts Centre in productions by Centre Stage Company.
The group is directed by David Hart, who reckons this year’s offering has provided more laughs for the cast than any they have done before.
He said: “This play is just a brilliant riff on the same joke, and you wonder how long Shakespeare can keep it up and still remain funny, but he does, for the best part of two hours.
“The complications and misunderstandings lead to furious rows between masters and servants, sisters, husband and wife, customers and traders, and so on.
“It’s just an awful groundhog day for all of them, but hilarious for the audience.
“It’s also very accessible because the comedy is up-to-date, everyday and more visual than verbal.
“We have set it in modern times, as always, and there isn’t much of the Shakespearian wordplay which can be difficult for audiences who are not used to it.”
The tour begins at Hildersham Churchyard on Saturday, July 26, with a 6.30pm start, then moves to the garden of the Lion pub in Stoke by Clare on Sunday, July 27, starting at 7.30pm.
On Tuesday, July 29, it comes to East Town Park, Haverhill (7.30pm), and on Wednesday, July 30, to the garden of Hundon Plough (7.30pm). On Friday, August 1, it will be in the gardens of Great Thurlow Hall (7.30pm), and on Saturday, August 2, it winds up at the Erskine Centre in Chedburgh (6.30pm start). You can get tickets on the gate at all venues, or from the pubs in advance, from the Haverhill Arts Centre box office for East Town Park. At Hildersham, Great Thurlow and Chedburgh, performances are in aid of the respective village churches. Some venues provide seating.
Outspoken Theatre was founded in 2001 with a two-week project to produce Twelfth Night. It has since grown into a touring group, and has followed up the inaugural production with Much Ado About Nothing, Love’s Labours Lost, The Winter’s Tale, Macbeth, The Merchant Of Venice, Measure For Measure, The Merry Wives Of Windsor, The Tempest, Richard III, As You Like It and, last year, Antony And Cleopatra.