In a brand new venture, this summer Portsmouth Historic Dockyard will present a truly unique opportunity to enjoy a night 'out' at the theatre in the exceptional surroundings of the world-famous HMS Victory, as 'this huge stage presenteth nought but shows'.
Starting the 'Dockyard At Dusk' season is the Royal Navy Theatre Association (RNTA) who are planning their most ambitious project yet by performing an outdoor production of Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing (18th-21st July).
On Thursday 23rd August, 'Something wicked this way comes...' as The Lord Chamberlain's Men presents Shakespeare's Macbeth. The traditional all-male touring production of Shakespeare's devastating and gripping thriller, with traditional costume and Elizabethan song and dance, is visiting the UK's most beautiful and historic venues, of which Portsmouth Historic Dockyard is a highlight.
The triumphant finale to the 'Dockyard at Dusk' season will be The Royal Marines Association Concert Band (RMACB) on Saturday 25th August.
The production, which is being directed by Lt Cdr Philippa Sargent, a member of HMS Collingwood's Theatre Company, sees all three of the Portsmouth based theatre clubs joining together to put on what promises to be an amazing spectacle, having attended a workshop with the Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) as part of the RSC's Open Stages programme.
Much Ado About Nothing is a witty comedy about two sets of lovers drawn from a group of young men returning home from war, reminding us that "the course of true love never did run smooth". Bringing the production right up-to-date the men will be a troop of Royal Marines returning from Afghanistan.
When the triumphant soldier Macbeth discovers he's destined to be the next King of Scotland, he and Lady Macbeth decide to risk everything in a desperate attempt to gain the throne. Macbeth's violent dream of power becomes a paranoid nightmare.
Mark Puddle, the company's founder and creative director, says Macbeth has everything; a tragic love story, a lust for power and a drunken porter as well as fights, ghosts and plenty of blood! "Macbeth has always been considered one of Shakespeare's most popular plays. The contrast of a beautiful summer's evening and Macbeth's tragic tale is a perfect fit for such an iconic location."
The Royal Marines Band Service has built a world class reputation via their thrilling performances worldwide for over a century. Many of its musicians, on leaving the service, go on to successful music careers, but their links with the Royal Marines seldom diminish. In response to public demand these former RM musicians have formed their own band, which matches the highest standards of the serving bands. Between them they have over 1,500 years of accumulated music experience, possibly one of the most experienced bands in the country. This is the first time the RMACB will be hosting a concert at the Historic Dockyard alongside HMS Victory. The concert will include a "Last Night at the Prom's" theme, together with a traditional Royal Marines finale featuring The Trafalgar Drummers. Songs throughout the show will be sung by the superb Margaret Threadgold (Soprano).