Completely Bard!

Written by William Shakespeare and others

Friday 18th May 2001

Produced by Zoë Corrigan and Sam Emery

An evening of all the best bits from, and inspired by, Shakespeare's work.

AuthorWilliam Shakespeare

William Shakespeare (1564 - 1616)

Shakespeare is considered by many to be the greatest playwright of all time and is possibly the most famous playwright in the English-speaking world.

Born in Stratford-upon-Avon he was also probably educated there however, very little is known of his early life. The next documented event in his life is his marriage in 1582 to Anne Hathaway. The couple had a daughter the following year and twins in 1585. Another gap followed (referred to by some scholars as 'the lost years') with Shakespeare only reappearing in London in 1592, when he was already working in the theatre.

Shakespeare's acting career was spent with the Lord Chamberlain's Company, which was renamed the King's Company in 1603 when James succeeded to the throne. The group acquired interests in two theatres in the Southwark area of London, near the banks of the Thames - the Globe and the Blackfriars.

Shakespeare's poetry was published before his plays, with two poems appearing in 1593 and 1594, dedicated to his patron Henry Wriothesley, Earl of Southampton. Most of Shakespeare's sonnets were probably written at this time as well. Records of Shakespeare's plays begin to appear in 1594, and he produced roughly two a year until around 1611. Some of his most famous tragedies (including Macbeth) were written in the very early 1600s. The first collected edition of his works wasn't published until 1623, some 7 years after his death.

Shakespeare spent the last five years of his life in Stratford, and he was buried in the Holy Trinity Church there.

ShowCompletely Bard!

The first half of the evening consisted of a selection of extracts from Shakespeare chosen as favourites by the performers themselves. Their choices included sonnets, soliloquies and scenes and were representative of the spectrum of the Bard's work from comedy to tragedy. In the second half, various pieces inspired by Shakespeare's work were performed - with an emphasis on comedy and song. Some of these were written by Bench Members and others are favourites chosen from ''The Shakespeare Revue' by arrangement with Nick Hern Books.

This production was staged at Havant Arts Centre, East Street Havant - Bench Theatre's home since 1977. It was performed as part of the "9 Days in May" Arts Festival.


Act One

Prologue, Henry VJohn Scadding
Richard IIIDavid Hill
Merry Wives of WindsorSharman Callam
Jackie Branson
Sonnet 116David Hill
Romeo and JulietZoë Corrigan
Ingrid Corrigan
Sue Dawes
Merchant of VeniceSam Emery
A You Like ItTim Taylor
David Hill
Phil Stoker
CymbelineNicola Scadding
Six SonnetsJohn Scadding
Epilogue, As You Like ItSam Emery

Act Two

PrologueJohn Scadding
Midsummer Term TragedyMark Wakeman
Mike Hickman
Phil Stoker
Robin Hall
Which WitchNicola Scadding
Teach Me Dear CreatureRobin Hall
Sonnet 130David Hill
The Balcony SceneRobin Hall
Mark Wakeman
Talking to ShakespeareDavid Penrose
Music Hall ShakespeareRobin Hall
Sam Emery
Director's NotesIngrid Corrigan
Brush Up Your ShakespeareEnsemble


Producers Zoë Corrigan
Sam Emery
Lighting and Sound Peter Corrigan
Front of House Will Chalmers

Production Images