WHEN you mix theatre with a sense of adventure, you end up with something quite unique. Meet the world’s first cycling theatre touring company.

The Handlebards perform Shakespeare throughout the country whilst travelling to each venue via bike.

Producer, Paul Moss said: “This started in 2013 with four friends who wanted a sense of adventure but also wanted to keep theatre at its heart. None of us started as avid cyclists, just people who loved theatre and this sense of creating unique experiences.

“It is exhausting, but it is extremely rewarding. You can’t work any harder where you have to cycle for 20 to 30 miles a day, six day a week, with everything piece of equipment we need.

“All actors work extremely hard to get to each venue and then perform. We have to get there on time, or the show will not happen. The planning has to be precise.”

The UK tour brings The Handlebards to the south coast during August, where they will perform As You Like It at Shelley Theatre, in Boscombe, on Friday, August 25.

Paul is particularly looking forward to the coastal route of the 2017 tour: “This is going to be a lovely route along the south coast to cycle. Prior to Shelley Theatre, we are making our way over from Lyme Regis, Bridport and Dorchester. After Shelley, we are off to Beaulieu and Southampton. Then it’s our route back to London.”

“The roads we cycle on have to be tarmac and a lot of this is within A-roads. With the amount of equipment we have, we just can’t risk any rough terrain. This could put the whole tour in jeopardy.”

With 80 shows scheduled during 2017, what is a test on resilience and energy, is also testament to bringing a new way of performance to many different audiences throughout the UK. To book, visit shelleytheatre.co.uk