A New Zealand theatre troupe will perform on the Greenville Square this Thursday, July 14th at 7:30 pm.
The Barden Party was born in Laura Irish’s New Zealand backyard in the height of Covid-19 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 lifelong Shakespeare buff and Greenville University graduate, 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 neighborhood 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 several other cities across the United States – from Honolulu, 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 will perform on the Greenville Square on Thursday, July 14th at 7:30 pm. The public is invited to this free event and is encouraged to bring a lawn chair!
You can find more information through the troupe’s website: www.thebardenparty.com.