Drama on two wheels as Bard rolls into Tonbridge

The Mead School in Tunbridge Wells gave a professional level performance in the  ISA drama contests

AN INNOVATIVE troupe of travelling actors who style themselves as the world’s first cycling theatre company will be performing Twelfth Night at the EM Forster theatre next week.

The HandleBards ride around the world with all their sets, props and costumes on board to present ‘environmentally sustainable’ performances of Shakespeare.

They have been described by Sir Ian McKellen as ‘uproariously funny’.

There are two groups, all-male and females only, and the ‘boys’ will be on stage next Wednesday [August 29] from 6.30pm.

Since 2013, the HandleBards have clocked-up 8,000 miles across 12 countries. They have also picked up 28 punctures en route.

Each band of five cyclists wear ruffs, pantaloons, brightly coloured stockings and codpieces in traditional Elizabethan style.

The HandleBards started as a four-strong repertory company in 2012, and they embarked on their first tour the following year, cycling 967 miles from Glasgow to London.

In 2014, they managed 2,000 miles across the UK, Holland and Belgium, appearing before 6,000 spectators at 50 venues.

The boys have taken their shows to India and Zimbabwe, while last year the girls performed in India, Malaysia, Singapore, Myanmar and Bali.

PICTURE: AS YOU BIKE IT: Will Fawcett (left) and Ross Ford perform on stage

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