THE world’s first cycling theatre company will return to Giggleswick to perform a piece of Shakespeare theatre.

The HandleBards will be at Giggleswick School to give an open air performance of Twelfth Night at the Richard Whiteley Theatre at 6.30pm on Thursday, August 2.

Since 2013, their two troupes have pedalled over 7,000 miles across the UK to perform a unique brand of “charmingly chaotic, environmentally sustainable, bicycle-powered Shakespeare”.

Producer Paul Moss said audiences can expect “riotous amounts of energy, a fair old whack of chaos, and a great deal of laughter” from the show.

The HandleBards pride themselves on how accessible they are able to make Shakespeare and his plays.

“The key is not to take it all so seriously,” said Paul. “We only ever cast four actors in our productions, for the very reason that it’s nearly impossible to perform a Shakespeare play with just four actors - attempting it always leads to hilarity both on and off stage, it’s really a lot of fun.”

The year marks The HandleBards’ sixth UK summer season, having begun their adventure in 2013 with a 967-mile cycle from Glasgow to London.

Back then, it was theatre on a shoestring - and not meant figuratively - the boys used shoelaces and a sponge to attach their trailers to their bikes.

Since then, the group has grown from a set of friends with cheap bikes and a rickety old trailer to an internationally successful theatre company, who perform bicycle-powered Shakespeare in 12 countries across three continents.

“We’re on a journey to become the world’s front-runners in sustainable theatre,” said Paul. “This year we’re planting trees to try and offset our carbon emissions. We’ve talked about climate change for years now, but nothing will really change until we all stop complaining, and actually do something to change the way we live our lives.”

To book tickets, visit or ring 01729 893180.