William Shakespeare once wrote that “all the world’s a stage," thus providing a potent argument for outdoor theatre and for performing high-kicking musical numbers in traffic court. Revel in exits and entrances with today’s Groupon: for $15, you get two tickets to either Twelfth Night, playing Sundays and Mondays at 6 p.m. from July 10 to August 15 at the Topsail Beach Amphitheatre in Conception Bay South (a $30 value), or Hamlet, playing Fridays and Saturdays at 6 p.m. from July 22 to August 20 in Tattoo Field at Signal Hill in St. John’s (a $30 value), during the Shakespeare By The Sea Festival.
The Shakespeare By The Sea Festival stages spirited al-fresco productions of the Bard’s works in scenic outdoor locales, from clifftops to historic landmarks. Twelfth Night, Shakespeare's gender-bending comedy of mistaken identity, traces the romantic hijinks that ensue when a shipwrecked Viola assumes the identity of a trousers-wearing wakeboarding instructor named Pepe. The motley crew’s tomfoolery unfolds in the Topsail Beach Amphitheatre, where metre-starved ears can feast on a banquet of five-footed iambs. Those opting for soul-searching soliloquies can delight in the verbal slings and arrows lobbed during Hamlet, the story of the morose Danish prince and his obsession with skull puppetry. The play’s dark themes of madness, revenge, and mortality spring to life against the sweeping panoramas afforded by Signal Hill National Historic Site. As neither venue offers assigned seating, theatregoers are advised to bring their own blankets, lawn chairs, or barcaloungers to perch on during the performance. Chairs are available to rent at both sites.