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The Barn Theatre celebrates Shakespeare’s greatest female characters

The Barn Theatre has announced a special celebration of Shakespeare’s greatest female characters.


Shakespeare’s Greatest Females week will run from May 25, celebrating the female characters of William Shakespeare’s work as part of The Barn Theatre’s ongoing series Bard From The Barn.

The week of episodes will be released every week day at 5pm on the Barn Theatre’s Facebook, YouTube and Twitter. The week will end with a special episode on 29 May 2020 at 9pm, where co-producer Aaron Sidwell and lead editor Benjamin Collins will chat with the performers and directors of the week’s episodes about the process and the importance of these characters.

You can watch a trailer from the upcoming specials below…

In the clip, the line up of performers announce: “Please join us everyday this week at 5pm for a really special week with Bard From The Barn. For years the debate has been raging about the gender inequality in Shakespeare plays and undoubtedly it’s there for all to see. He did however pen some of the greatest female characters of all time and this week we’re celebrating them.

“From Juliet to Cleopatra. Rosalind to Lady M. This is Shakespeare’s Greatest Females week. At the barn we believe the discussion of gender equality is as important now as it has ever been as we look to build a bright new future for the creative arts post Covid-19.

“So please join us at 5pm every week day and at 9pm this coming Friday when we will be talking to the amazing women who made these speeches. Have an amazing week.”

The week’s performances are:

Monday 25 May: Cleopatra from Antony and Cleopatra, performed by Alicia Charles and directed by Hal Chambers

Tuesday 26 May: Emilia from Othello, performed by Rebecca Jayne-Davies and directed by David Mercatali

Wednesday 27 May: Lady Macbeth from Macbeth, performed by Sophie May Wake and directed by Phil Bartlett

Thursday 28 May: Juliet from Romeo and Juliet, performed by Sarah-Louise Hughes and directed by Dominic Shaw

Friday 29 May: Rosalind from As You Like It, performed by Grace Liston and directed by Kirstie Davis


Bard From The Barn, which is co-produced by Aaron Sidwell and the Barn Theatre, airs on the Barn Theatre’s Facebook, YouTube and Twitter channels every weekday at 5pm weekdays and the first phase has featured performances from over 30 performers including Tricia Adele-Turner (Dear Evan Hansen), Max Hutchinson (The Woman in Black) and Jasper Cartwright (War Horse).

The recently-announced second phase of the series pairs graduating drama school students with professional actors and directors to reimagine William Shakespeare’s greatest duologues. Performers who have joined the cast include Natasha Barnes, Nathan Amzi, Mark Peachey and Eddie Eyre.

The series, which is based on an original concept by Aaron Sidwell and Hal Chambers, is production co-ordinated by Emma Smith with Benjamin Collins as Lead Editor and sound design by Harry Smith.

The series forms part of the Barn Theatre’s Behind The Barn Door live streaming service. Set up in March, when the theatre had to temporarily close following government guidance, the service includes a full recording of the Barn Theatre’s critically-acclaimed 2019 Built by Barn production of William Shakespeare’s Henry V, directed by Hal Chambers and starring Aaron Sidwell (EastEnders, Wicked) and Lauren Samuels (Bend It Like Beckham, We Will Rock You).

The Barn Theatre (registered charity no. 1174253), which is facing a loss of £250,000 and possible permanent closure, have launched their SAVE OUR BARN campaign, via their website and social media platforms, to ensure the Barn Theatre’s survival.

About the author: Josh Darvill

Josh is Stageberry's editor with over five years of experience writing about theatre in the West End and across the UK. Prior to following his passion for musicals, he worked for more than a decade as a TV journalist.