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Rainbow Shakespeare

It all started with a question: how could we make enjoyable theatre for the whole family? We knew that Shakespeare done well with talented actors would entertain and inspire six year olds to ninety six year olds. Our first production under the Worthing Lido was enthusiastically received, although the Force 9 gale less so. We were then invited by Worthing Borough Council to perform in Highdown Gardens, which, at the time, was comparatively unknown by local people. It has remained Rainbow Shakespeare's 'home' ever since.

There is a particular magic about open-air Shakespeare. The sounds of actors 'warming' up and then mixing with the audience before the show starts, so that cast and watchers are all joined together to celebrate the performance of the play. The show starts and gradually, imperceptibly the stage lighting takes over as darkness envelops the gardens. Audience and actors alike magically enchanted.

The Rainbow Shakespeare company all believe passionately in the power and immediacy of living, breathing live theatre. Each performance is unique, and the players aim to respond to the unique nature of each audience. Rainbow's director, Nick Young, who has spent much of his professional life directing Shakespeare's plays, comments "You never come to the end of finding new things, and discovering different ways of telling the story, clearly. You don't need gimmicks, you just need to work with great actors who share your enthusiasm. Picnics have always been a central part of the enjoyment, and actors, in role, meeting the audience and giving them an insight into the play they are about to watch, and the characters. This is an inimitable experience you'll never get at the Royal Shakespeare Company or watching a film!"

Rainbow actors aim to make audiences feel they are in a 'safe pair of hands'. For example during one of the performances of Romeo and Juliet, a police helicopter flew over the performance and hovered there, making the audience feel nervous. However our Mercutio just looked up and shouted: "Bloody Capulets!" The audience laughed with relief and knew they'd just witnessed a one-off ad lib!


Director Nicolas Young, trained with the RSC, director of the Ludlow Festival, Connaught Theatre, founder of Rainbow Theatre, touring to schools for over 30 years, directed many large scale amateur productions.


Ross Muir - actor and co-producer. Trained at Guildford School of Acting. Major performer with schools Rainbow, and played Hamlet, Leontes, Oberon, Benedick, Petruchio among many leading roles with Rainbow Shakespeare.

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