Sit down for a sonnet – with socially-distanced Shakespeare

YSP Founder Frank Brogan in a performance from 2019’s Sonnet Walks.
3 Sep 2020 @ 2.54 pm
| Entertainment

Welcome back to live theatre with York Shakespeare Project who are staging ‘Sit-Down Sonnets’ this September.

The York community theatre company is presenting a special production featuring classic Shakespearean characters responding to the pandemic and each sharing one of Shakespeare’s famous sonnets.

The production is conceived and directed by Mick Taylor and produced by Maurice Crichton.

Mick Taylor gives a taste for what will be in store: “How can Brutus kill Caesar when all the senate meetings are on Zoom? Where can Romeo get his fateful poison if the apothecary’s on furlough?

“And how much hand sanitiser will Lady Macbeth get through? They’ll share their thoughts on a world of lockdowns, masks, and social distancing, along with a sonnet that reflects their feelings.”

‘Sit-Down Sonnets’ will run from Friday (4 September) to Saturday 12 September at Holy Trinity Churchyard, Goodramgate.

Each show will run for 45 minutes with performances at 5:45pm and 7pm, and a matinee performance at 4:15pm on Saturdays.

Sit-down Sonnets 2020

Sit-down Sonnets 2020
Fri Sep 4 @ 5.45 pm - Sat Sep 12 @ 7.00 pm
Holy Trinity Church, Goodramgate
70 Goodramgate
York, YO1 7LF United Kingdom
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Fun, unique performance

One of York’s gems – Holy Trinity, Goodramgate. Photograph: Richard McDougall

York Shakespeare Project has produced ‘Sonnet Walks’ for the last few years – a guided walk around York where the audience can meet a range of Shakespearean characters who have a story to tell and a sonnet to share.

Director Mick Taylor said, “Like everyone involved with theatre, we’ve missed being able to enjoy and take part in live performance.

“Having staged the Sonnet Walks previously, we knew that, as a format, it could be adapted in a way that would allow us to perform to a seated audience outdoors.”

Shakespeare himself was also impacted by a pandemic as between 1603 and 1613 theatres were closed for a total of six and half years due to the bubonic plague. “Thankfully, we can return in performances like this a little sooner!”

Established in 2001, the company has a 20-year mission to produce all of Shakespeare’s known plays by 2021, and were just over a week away from opening night for its production of Macbeth when lockdown began.

Committee member Tony Froud said, “We hope that people will be able to join us for what should be a fun and unique performance, and a long-overdue chance to watch live theatre.”

Tickets are available now from York Theatre Royal’s website and are £7 for adults, £4 for 14-17 year-olds, and two under-14s may accompany each adult for free.