Shakespeare joins the age of sustainability ...

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Four men and four bikes on a 1500 mile adventure will stop at the National Trust’s Gibson Mill courtyard at Hardcastle Crags to perform two of Shakespeare’s greatest plays. A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Hamlet will be performed on July 24 and 25 respectively.

HandleBards are carrying all the necessary set, props, costumes and camping equipment on just four bikes throughout the tour across the UK, and will use their bikes to power various surprises and contraptions on stage as well as entertaining the audience with fun filled performances.

Following their very successful 2014 tour when they were awarded the Edinburgh Fringe Sustainable Practice Award, HandleBards have developed a new off-grid touring theatre model for 2015 where all the power they need for 21st century living will be generated by leg-power.

Using dynamos to store cycle-power, they will be the first energy positive touring theatre company on the planet.

Their aim is to remove the need for any mains power during the 58 day tour stretching from Kent to Scotland and back to London, they say that “doing something is better than doing nothing”.

Jonathan Brewer, general manager for West Yorkshire Properties at the National Trust which includes Hardcastle Crags said:

“We are delighted to have secured this amazing theatre troupe for two nights and following the success of last year they both promise to be fantastic fun filled evenings of entertainment, suitable for friends and families alike.”

“This year is especially important as we mark the 10th anniversary of Gibson Mill being open to the public.

“The mill, which was formerly a cotton mill and then an entertainments emporium, is 100 per cent off-grid so the plays and ethos of HandleBards is perfectly fitting to help to mark the celebrations and our success within the National Trust’s drive to use 50 per cent renewable energy for all of its properties by 2020.”

The performances will start at 6.30pm and will be performed in the courtyard.

Tickets are available from for £12 or £10 concessions.

For more information please contact 01422 844518 or email

Refreshments will be available.