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The Kiwis Turn US Gardens into Shakespeare Theatres

The Barden Party was born in Laura Irish's New Zealand backyard in the height of Covid restrictions.

The Kiwis Turn US Gardens into Shakespeare Theatres

The Barden Party is the Kiwi theatre troupe heading to The US to bring raucous, rockin' musical Shakespearean comedy right to your own backyard!

The Barden Party Shakespeare Theatre show from New Zealand tours The USA in July

The idea for the show was born in Laura Irish's New Zealand backyard in the height of Covid restrictions.

"I had just experienced being let go from another cancelled theatre show due to Covid," the American/New Zealander says. "I was standing on my deck thinking 'this is bigger than most stages I have performed on'."

Laura, a Shakespeare buff, had an idea - The Bard (Shakespeare's nickname) + a Garden Party was sure to be a good time for all and just what people needed in tough times. Thus, the Barden Party was created - a nimble show that could be performed in any space it encounters.

And what better way to do that than like travelling troubadours did hundreds of years ago! Laura and her musical director Jake Robinson, fresh from working on London's celebrated West End, came up with the idea of fusing pop music into Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream.

"The result was just this pocket of fun and joy that people all around the country wanted to share with their friends from the comfort of their own homes," Laura says.

Just a few shows ballooned to more than 50 across the whole of New Zealand - playing festivals, retirement parties, birthday celebrations and neighbourhood gatherings.

"We found that people were craving connection and that is what theatre and music can bring."

Jam-packed with a talented cast, they navigate through The Bard's tale of magic, mischief and love by peppering the story with pop songs fused into folk ballads.

Now, in July 2022, the show is coming to cities across the United States - from Honolulu, St Louis and surrounds, to Chicago, western Massachusetts, New York City and Los Angeles. The goal is to spread fun and joy across the United States - using this unique blend of old and new.

The Barden Party performs A Midsummer Night's Dream at Fairfield House

"The show is so adaptable we can literally perform in any space. We just turn up on the day and make the magic happen," says Laura.

She is asking anyone who likes the idea of having the show performed in their own home, or hosting a Barden Party in a public venue to get in touch so that it can be shared with as many people as possible.

You can visit The Barden Party's new website at www.thebardenparty.com for more information or book a show.




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