A PEDAL-POWERED performing Shakespeare group who tour the UK by cycling to every venue return to Bournemouth in May and June. The Handlebards return to Shelley Theatre this Sunday, May 26 with Much Ado About Nothing and also June 22 with The Tempest.

This is their third year of performance in Bournemouth and producer, Paul Moss, shares what audiences can look forward to this summer.

“This year, we have three separate tours running at the same time. We have our all male team with Much Ado About Nothing, our all female team with The Tempest, as well as our first US tour that runs until the end of May.”

As each year progresses, The Handlebards family grows. “As we cycle to every venue, we become close to the people we perform with and the places we become a part of. For instance, we have a very close connection with the Shelley theatre team.

“Whilst we rely on the kindness of others a lot of the time, we are seeing real organic growth. The connections we all make on our travels, presents new opportunity, such as international performances.”

With two new shows for 2019 and a lot of cycling, how does the team decide which Shakespeare story to become a tour? Paul puts everything down to planning and structure. “As a touring company, you cannot rest on your laurels and become comfortable each year. It all comes down to what we want to do and recognising what audiences will enjoy. Much Ado About Nothing was a successful tour in 2016 and The Tempest presents a new challenge. Nell Crouch, our director for this show, has such a close affinity to this story. She studied it at college and her dad had even performed in it. It became a natural choice.”

Paul adds: “So far, we have had to deal with the sun, hailstorms and the wind. The wind can play a huge factor in making travelling demanding on the team members. With the weather picking up, everyone is loving the experience.

“We love performing in Bournemouth. Shelley Theatre is a beautiful place.”

To book tickets, call the box office on 01202 413600.