The Handlebards take Macbeth on UK tour


Cycling from theatre to farm, from castle to park, The HandleBards’ all-female company are touring their irreverent Macbeth across the UK this summer. The most environmentally friendly Shakespearean theatre company there is, and naturally one of the most Covid-safe, are packing The Scottish Play onto their bikes and taking it to outdoor venues. To ensure good sight lines for a socially distanced audience, the company are using a bespoke wooden stage with bicycle powered mechanisms, which travels with them in an electric van, in order to keep their emissions as low as possible. Forget the tears and tragedy – this is a frantic, delirious, full-of-beans, bike-powered farce!

The HandleBards sister company Slapstick Picnic will also be touring with a two-person The Importance of Being Earnest from 26th June.

Macbeth director Emma Sampson said, “It’s great to get back into the rehearsal room with the HandleBards. Working with them is always the most fun job of my calendar year and the all-female cast has been a delight to direct. They are truly three of the funniest women I have ever met in my life.”

The HandleBards began with a sense of adventure, a love of Shakespeare and a nifty little pun. Since four fearless friends (Callum Brodie, Callum Cheatle, Tom Dixon and Paul Moss) pedalled Twelfth Night to twenty UK venues in 2013, the company has grown to become an internationally renowned theatre company, bringing a uniquely irreverent brand of Shakespeare to audiences all over the globe. The HandleBards travel by bike because they care about the planet and want to promote sustainability and healthy living. In 2014, they won the Edinburgh Fringe Sustainable Practice Award. They were nominated again in 2015, and in 2016 were nominated for The Stage’s inaugural Sustainability Award.

The HandleBards share actors and creatives with new sister company Slapstick Picnic including theatre director Nel Crouch (RSC, Young Vic), using their experience of outdoor theatre and adapting Shakespeare to produce classic tales with an untraditional twist.

Running Time: 2hrs (inc interval) | Suitable for ages 8+

Company information

Produced by Tom Dixon and Paul Moss Directed by Emma Sampson

Designed by Lucy Green Musical Direction by Guy Hughes

Stage design by Mark Parsons (Studio Polpo) Assistant Direction by Olivia Race

Bicycle mechanism design by Electric Pedals


Kathryn Perkins, Natalie Simone, Jenny Smith

Listings information

4 June – 19 September

Tickets from

4 June Wellesley Woodlands, Surrey

Fleet Road, Aldershot, Surrey GU11 2HL

7pm | £16 – Free

6 June The Walled Garden, Luton Hoo Estate

Luton, LU1 4FL

7pm | £18 – Free

8 June The Quarry Theatre, Bedford

26 St Peter’s Street, Bedford MK40 2NN

7.30pm | £14 – £12

9 June The Millennium Pavilion, Cambridgeshire

The Trundle, Somersham, Cambridgeshire PE28 3JS

7pm | £18 – Free

10 June Stow Hall Gardens, King’s Lynn

Stow Bardolph, King’s Lynn, PE34 3HU

7pm | £18 – Free

11 June Castle Acre Priory, King’s Lynn

King’s Lynn, PE32 2XD

7pm | £18 – Free

12 June Pensthorpe Natural Park, Norfolk

Fakenham, Norfolk NR 21 0LN

7pm | £18 – Free

13 June North Lodge Park, Cromer

6 Overstrand Road, Cromer NR27 0AH

7pm | £15 – £10

15 June St George’s Theatre, Norfolk

King Street, Great Yarmouth, Norfolk NR30 2PG

7pm | £10

17 June The Seagull, Lowestoft

Morton Road, Pakefield, Lowestoft, Suffolk NR33 0RU

7pm | £10

(Indoor performance)

18 June Framlingham Castle

Church Street, Framlingham IP13 9BP

Luton, LU1 4FL

7pm | £18 – Free

19 June Diss Park

9 Park Road, Diss, Norfolk IP22 4AU

7pm | £18 – Free

20 June Hollow Trees Farm, Ipswich

Semer,Ipswich IP7 6HX

7pm | £18 – Free

23 June Layer Marney Tower, Essex

Nr. Colchester, Essex C05 9US

7pm | £18 – Free

24 June South Mill Arts

1 -3 South Road, Bishop’s Stortford CM23 3JG

7pm | £16.50

(Indoor performance)

25 June Shuttleworth Estate, Biggleswade

Old Warden, Biggleswade, SG18 9EP

7pm | £18 – Free

26 June Old Royal Naval College, London

London SE10 9NN

7pm | £17

27 June Home Farm Glamping, Borehamwood

Aldenham Road, Elstree, Borehamwood WD6 3AZ

7pm | £18 – Free

30 June – 1 July Globe Neuss, Germany

Hammer Landstraße 2, Neuss, 41460 Germany

3pm and 7pm | Ticket prices TBC

7 July Cogges, Whitney

Church Lane, Witney, OX28 3LA

7pm | £16.50 – £10

8 July EM Forster Theatre, Kent

Tunbridge School, High Street, Tonbridge, Kent TN9 1JP

7pm | £18 – Free

9 July Norden Farm Centre for the Arts, Maidenhead

Altwood Road, Maidenhead, SL6 4FP

8pm | £17 – £15

10 July Maumbury Rings, Dorchester

Dorchester, DT1 1TY

7pm | £14 – £12

11 July Marine Theatre, Lyme Regis

Church Street Lyme Regis, Dorset DT7 3QA

7pm | £17 – 10

13 July The Hall, Bradford-On-Avon

Holt Rd, Bradford-on-Avon, Wiltshire BA15 1AJ

7pm | £18 – Free

14 July Corsham Almshouses, Corsham

Pound Pill, Corsham, SN13 9HT

7pm | £12 – £10

15 July St Michaels Park, Cirencester

St Michaels Park, King St, Cirencester, Gloucestershire GL7 1JT

7pm | £18 – Free

16 July Painswick Rococo Garden, Painswick

Gloucester Road, Painswick, Gloucestershire GL6 6TH

6.30pm | £18 – Free

17 – 21 July Pudlicote House, Chipping Norton

Pudlicote, Chipping Norton, OX7 3HX

2pm & 7pm | £16 – £14

22 July Coventry Cathedral, Coventry

Priory Street, Coventry, CV1 5FB

7pm | £18 – Free

23 July Moira Furnace Museum, Swadlincote

Furnace Lane, Swadlincote, DE12 6AT

7pm | £15 – £10

24 July Southwell Minster and the Archbishop’s Palace, Southwell

Church Street, Southwell, NG25 0HD

7pm | £18 – Free

25 July Cromford Mills, Cromford

Mill Rd, Cromford, Matlock DE4 3RQ

7pm | £18 – Free

27 July High Lea Park, New Mills

St Mary’s Road, New Mills, SK22 3BW

7pm | £30 – £8

28 July Ordsall Hall, Salford

22 Ordsall Lane, Salford, Greater Manchester M5 3AN

7pm |. £18 – Free

30 July Hoghton Tower, Preston

Hoghton, Preston PR5 0SH

7pm | £18 – Free

31 July Lancaster Castle, Lancaster

Castle Park, Lancaster, LA1 1YJ

7pm | £18 – Free

1 August The Richard Whiteley Theatre, North Yorkshire

Giggleswick School, Settle, North Yorkshire BD24 0DE

5pm | £18 – Free

5 August Bolton Castle, Near Leyburn

Near Leyburn, DL8 4ET United Kingdom

7pm | £18 – Free

6 August Kiplin Hall, Richmond

Richmond, DL10 6AT

7pm | £18 – Free

11 August Hexham Abbey, Hexham

Hexham, NE46 3NB

7pm | £18 – Free

12 August Rede Tyne & Coquet Sports Centre, Northumberland

Otterburn Northumberland NE19 1HE

7pm | £18 – Free

13 August Northumberlandia, Northumberland

Blagdon Lane. Cramlington, Northumberland NE23 8AQ

7pm | £18 – Free

17 August Heeley People’s Park, Heeley

View Rd, Heeley, Sheffield S2 3DJ

7pm | Pay What You Can

19 August Lawrence Batley Theatre, Huddersfield

Queen’s Square, Queen Street, Huddersfield, HD1 2SP

3pm & 7pm | £12

20 – 21 August Holker Hall and Gardens, Cark

Holker, Cark, LA11 7PL

6.30pm | £12.45 – Free

22 August Theatr Clywd, Mold

Raikes Lane, Mold, CH7 1YA

7pm | £12

24 August Monkey Park, Chesterfield

128 Chester Street, Chesterfield, S40 1DN

7pm | Pay What You Can

26 August Thirlestane Castle, Lauder

Lauder, Borders, TD2 6RU

7pm | £18 – Free

31 August Scone Palace, Perth

Perth, PH2 6BD

7pm | £18 – Free

1 September Glamis Castle, Forfar

Glamis, Forfar, Angus, DD8 1RJ

7pm | £18 – Free

2 September House of Dun, Montrose

Dun, Montrose, DD10 9LQ

7pm | £18 – Free

5 September Haddo House, Ellon

Methlick, Ellon, Aberdeenshire AB41 7EQ

7pm | £18 – Free

9 September Cawdor Castle, Cawdor

Cawdor, Nairn, IV12 5RD

7pm | £16.50 – £10

12 September Strawberry Hill House, Twickenham

68 Waldegrave Road, Twickenham, Greater London TW1 4ST

7pm | £18 – Free

14 September Biggin Hill Memorial Museum, Westerham

Main Road, Westerham, TN15 3EJ

7pm | £18 – Free

15 September Warninglid Grange, Haywards Heath

Warninglid Lane, Haywards Heath, RH17 5TQ

7pm | Pay What You Can

17 – 18 September The Church Field, Witley

Witley, GU8 5PP

7pm | £18 – Free

19 September The Phoenix Theatre and Arts Centre, Bordon

Station Road, Bordon, Hampshire GU35 0LR

7pm | £15 – Free

Supported by Arts Council England and Pashley Cycles

Related Articles


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *