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The Two Shakespeares of West Kirby

Liverpool's PurpleDoor theatre company takes two of its productions further afield this summer.

The two plays - Shakespeare's rarely-performed King John and The Two Gentlemen of Verona – are crossing the Irish Sea to Dublin later this month (Smock Alley Theatre, July 27-30), before sessions at Ulverston's Coro Theatre (August 12-13) and West Kirby Arts Centre, Wirral (August 19-20).

"They are two of Shakespeare’s earliest works," said director Karl Falconer, "and they’ve got all the ingredients you come to know and love from his classics. There’s mystery, there’s intrigue, comedy – and a dog!"

King John relocates the overlooked tragedy to the middle of Thatcher’s Britain amid the miner’s strike that led to a bloody revolution. It examines the responsibility of power, the need for war and the inability of men to rule.

The Two Gentlemen of Verona is set in Liverpool in the 1990s, and celebrates the "joy" of young love.

"All of this filters into the productions," adds Karl. "Though they’re plays you might be less familiar with, they’re scarily in tune with the moment we’re living through. Questions about who should be in power and what we do with that power feel more timely than ever."

The mini-tour will the first time PurpleDoor has performed since the pandemic; otherwise the company is gearing up to work with the newly-opened Shakespeare North Playhouse next year.

Tickets and info here


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