Rain or Shine Theatre

Maumbury Rings, Dorchester

It is 1918 and the local girls are eagerly awaiting the boys as they return from the Great War, and they can already be heard singing popular songs of the day to herald their arrival.

This is Shakespeare comedy 20th century style complete with uniformed soldiers, Morris dancers and a script that is trimmed and updated to give it sparkle and fizz.

Played strictly for laughs, the cast of eight play multiple roles in a production led by Jayne Lloyd who founded the Rain or Shine Theatre Company and in which she is cast as the town’s female governor Leonato.

This story of love, deception and retribution is told in lighthearted style as the cast go over the top to create a riotous evening of fun and laughter.

Under Tom Jordan’s direction, the plot is played out with minimum props and scenery in an open-air production that even a rain shower and sudden drop in temperature could not spoil for the enthusiastic audience.

In the leading role as reluctant lover Benedick, Peter M. Smith goes for broke in a brilliant slapstick comedy act while Rob Reeves cleverly swaps characters from a posh army officer to the daft clown Dogberry, as he brings the house down with his zany antics.

The company’s national tour goes to Swanage tonight, Monday, August 13, a great opportunity to enjoy the Bard in a whole new way.

It will be performed in the Prince Albert Gardens amphitheatre at 7pm. Call 01929 766018 for tickets.