English Theatre Company - the London Tour
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Waiting on Shakespeare

Waiting on Shakespeare (previously called Halcyon Days) is an established play in our
repertoire. We first performed it back in November 2004 and we have now performed it some 800 times in Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Greece, Holland, Italy, Portugal and Spain.

It quickly became one of our audience’s favourites and has remained so through its various rewrites over the years.

Waiting on Shakespeare has a very simple premise. It imagines a day when Shakespeare has called together his key actors to work out what to do for an audition in front of Queen
Elizabeth who is considering patronising them. That the Queen will die before the audition date is something they obviously do not know.

Anyway, the actors turn up; Shakespeare doesn’t; he’s all tied up “following his muse”. It is very much a fly on the wall look at the two main actors trying desperately to fill their time waiting for Shakespeare to turn up while they themselves consider; well they consider almost everything: the whats, the wheres, the whys and hows of what they are doing.

Then there is the spanner in the works of the arrival of an outsider; a peculiar stranger who seems to know them in a way that they don’t themselves ... yet.

Waiting on Shakespeare is a highly comic play. We like to say that is about acting and
performing, ambitions and resignations, hopes and dreams, philosophy and fish. You do have to look really quite close for the fish bit; that’s true. The rest; all the stuff you’d expect in a play with Shakespeare in it really. But, above all Waiting on Shakespeare is a comedy;
a comedy that has been bringing out the quiet smile to the laugh out loud guffaw in
our audiences for years.


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