Shakesperare’s Globe theatre company will perform at Theatr Bryn Terfel, Pontio in Bangor on 7-9 June this year, and with an added twist, on the night of the performance, audiences will vote on which play they want to see performed.

The theatre company will be taking Twelfth Night, The Taming of the Shrew and The Merchant of Venice on tour to various venues across the world, including Sweden, Austria, Germany and Spain, with Pontio hosting the only performances in Wales.

In addition to the performances Pontio will also be holding the following talks as part of Shakespeare’s Globe on Tour visit…

Thursday 7 June, 7.30pm
Post-show Q&A FREE but booking required
Chaired by Professor Helen Wilcox from Bangor University’s School of English Literature with members of the cast, opening up to questions from the audience.

Friday 8 June, 6.15-7pm FREE but booking required 6.15pm-7pm
Friday 8 June, Studio. Level 2
Cymraeg Shakespeare/Shakespeare’s Welsh
A session exploring Shakespeare’s interaction – real, possible and imagined – with the Welsh language and its culture. This will be a Welsh medium event, with simultaenous

The Merchant of Venice, The Taming of the Shrew & Twelfth Night

How did a company tour in Shakespeare’s day? We know that when the theatres closed, a small group of actors, juggling a variety of roles in three or four plays from their extensive repertoire, would leave London and head off on tour. We also know that the choice of play or entertainment was left to the most powerful person of the household.

So following in the tradition of our resident playwright, and in a first for Shakespeare’s Globe, between May and August 2018, a company of 8 actors will offer audiences a choice of three plays: The Merchant of Venice, The Taming of the Shrew and Twelfth Night. They will perform all three at the Globe before setting out on a national and international tour, calling here at Pontio for their only dates in Wales.

In keeping with tradition – and with thrilling unpredictability – the choice of play will be put back into the hands of the most powerful members of the house: the audience.

The Merchant of Venice
In Venice, the epicentre of consumption, speculation and debt, Bassanio borrows money from his friend Antonio to finance his attempt to win the hand of Portia, a wealthy heiress. Antonio, in turn, takes out a loan from the moneylender Shylock. The loan will be repaid when Antonio’s ships return to the city. But if they should fail, and the money cannot be repaid, Antonio shall give to Shylock a pound of his own flesh. And they do fail. And Shylock will have his ‘bond’.

In some of his most highly-charged scenes, Shakespeare dramatizes the competing claims of tolerance and intolerance, justice and mercy, while in the character of Shylock he created one of the most memorable outsiders in all theatre.

The Taming of the Shrew
Two wealthy sisters in Padua must be married off. The modest, demure Bianca has no shortage of suitors, but who on earth will take the wild, ungovernable, ‘shrewish’ Kate? Perhaps the gold-digging Petruchio, as maddeningly strong-willed and perverse as Kate herself, will be equal to the task of bullying her to the altar.

Shakespeare’s outrageous comedy introduces one of theatre’s great screwball double-acts, a couple hell-bent on confusing and outwitting each other right up to its controversial conclusion.

Twelfth Night
In the household of the Countess Olivia, two campaigns are being quietly waged – one by the lovesick Duke Orsino against the heart of the indifferent Olivia; the other by an alliance of servants and hangers-on against the high-handedness of her steward, the pompous Malvolio. When Orsino engages the cross-dressed Viola to plead with Olivia on his behalf, a bittersweet chain of events follows.

Filled with a cast of unforgettable characters, Twelfth Night combines cruelty with high comedy and the pangs of unrequited love with some of the subtlest poetry and most exquisite songs Shakespeare ever wrote.

Director: Brendan O’Hea, director and actor, has previously performed in a number of productions at Shakespeare’s Globe including Cymbeline (2015), Measure for Measure (2015), A Midsummer Night’s Dream (2014) and Henry V (2012).

Brendan O’Hea: “The combination of Shakespeare, the Globe and touring ticks every box for me. The chance to share those glorious words and my experience of playing that beautiful theatre with audiences throughout the world excites me beyond measure. And I’m relishing the opportunity to direct three of Shakespeare’s most popular plays in a unique and unpredictable presentation.”

Designer: Andrew D Edwards
Composer: Bill Barclay
Choreographer: Siân Williams

 Tickets are available from Pontio