A fusion of cycling passion & a passionate performance
Back in January, I got a call from Paul Moss of the acting
company Peculius, suggesting what I could
only describe as an idea as awesome as it was crazy.
He and three other male actors were planning to cycle from
Glasgow to London - a 926 mile ride - carrying with them all
the gear required to perform two of Shakespeare's plays at each
stop along the way. And sleeping in tents. With no cars or support
vehicles of any kind.
"Would we like to be stop number two?"
I didn't hesitate - immediately thinking that the newly
completed sculpture - Love & Kisses in
North - would be a perfect place to host this amazing
We got to planning, and it wasn't long until June snuck up on
us, and I had a visit from two of The Handlebards on a pre-tour
investigation of the route and the venues. Path upgrade work in
Helix North meant we were forced to find an alternative venue, and
we discussed various ideas before deciding on The Falkirk Wheel - a
landmark outdoor performance, in front of a landmark piece of
engineering, with the guys cycling in from Glasgow along the Forth
& Clyde canal.
So today - the 4th of July, at 2.30pm - the first performance of
Romeo & Juliet was played to an eager crowd. Not willing to
shirk away from a challenge, the Bards were performing the full two
hour play, and we were delighted to see an audience of all ages,
with some very young people clearly captivated for the full
I did not expect this to be as brilliant as it was. Using bikes
and their camping equipment as stand in cast members, Juliets
Balcony, and my personal favourite, the midge tent as the veil for
Romeo & Juliet's wedding, The Handlebards brought an excellent
amount of humour to this world famous love story, with outstanding
performances from all four cast members. It was easy to forget that
they had just cycled in from Glasgow, arriving at 12.15pm to set up
and prepare - as well as catch their breath!
The evening show saw a renewed energy, and again a captivated
audience. The Falkirk
Wheel provided an excellent auditorium, with the
visitor centre creating an amphitheatre to help with acoustics for
The Handlebards, but also for the fantastic band opening the
evening show. The Youth And Young provided a great
start to the evening, with a thoroughly Scottish sound soaring out
across The Wheel.
Not to miss out on dramatic potential, while all this was going
on the unbelievably helpful team from Dawson Bike
Club were performing rapid repairs to the bikes the
bards rode in on. Two full wheel repairs and some brake tightening,
plus a bit of TLC for the bard's trusty bike trailer (which didn't
look so trustworthy!) and The Handlebards were ready to set off on
the remaining 900 miles!
We were delighted to host The Handlebards this year, and truly
hope to see them again next year in front of The
Good luck on the rest of your journey bards, we'll see you again
For details of the Handlebards journey through Britain, check
out their website: