Brownsea Open Air Theatre, a registered charity, has been presenting plays by Shakespeare on Brownsea Island each summer since 1964 and they have donated more than £200,000.00 to the National Trust.
This year’s production will be As You Like It from 24 July to 12 August. The director, Brian Woolton, is no stranger to the island, as he has played major roles in BOAT productions since 2009. However, this is the first time he has directed for BOAT and it promises to be an exciting debut as his creative vision takes shape. Brian has elected to challenge some of the usual conventions by casting strong women in some of the roles usually played by men. The result is an exceptionally powerful production.
For Brownsea audiences, performance evenings start with a ferry trip from Poole, followed by a picnic in the island’s idyllic setting and then the performance in an open air, fully raked auditorium. For the company, being part of BOAT provides a unique experience which includes Sunday set-build days on the island, indoor and outdoor evening rehearsals, first at Pelhams Park and then on Brownsea itself, with a chance to watch the wildlife at close quarters once the daytime visitors have left.
The production contains powerful and imaginative lighting and sound effects as well as innovative touches from the director, such as a display of hand-written love poems sent in by members of the audience. The whole show, with its carefully choreographed fight sequences, live music, colourful and elaborate costumes and magical set, promises to be an evening of delight.
For more information on Brownsea Open Air Theatre and ticket sales go to www.brownsea-theatre.co.uk. For a trailer of As You Like It, click here.