BORDERS venues are to welcome the world’s only cycling Shakespeare company this Autumn.

Each summer the HandleBards acting troupes cycle riotously funny versions of Shakespeare’s classics across the UK.

And after a quick stop off at the Edinburgh Fringe, they are moving onto the Borders and the rest of Scotland.

This year, the HandleBards present The Tempest and Much Ado About Nothing to two Border towns.

Each troupe is made up of four actors who cycle up to 30 miles a day, then set up their show, perform it, take down the set, then collapse in a heap!

As the troupes have to take it slow, they get a sense of each area they perform in, saying ‘we meet lovely locals’ and that they have even been known to ‘hunt down some wild swimming locations in the Borders’.

Firstly, the all-female troupe will bring their ‘completely barmy’ The Tempest to Kailzie Gardens in Peebles.

Then the all-male troupe will bring their witty Much Ado About Nothing to Bowhill House, outside Selkirk.

The HandleBards take on the Tempest imagines Prospero as a faded vaudevillian magician, whose tricks have somewhat lost their lustre.

Combining romance, music, real magic tricks and four tour-de-force performances, this show is one for the young, the old and everyone in between.

While the troupe’s version of Much Ado About Nothing includes music, dancing and a lot of silly characters.

Audiences are warned to look out for the dastardly Don Jon and look out for the HandleBards plundering your picnic.

After forming in 2012, the touring Shakespeare group have gone on to perform to over 70,000 people in castles, gardens, museums and public amphitheatres.

Jack, Producer for The HandleBards, told us: “We’ve performed in the Borders every year since the HandleBards started in 2012, and we always receive a warm welcome.

“We are excited to perform at some breathtakingly beautiful venues - the majestic Bowhill House, and the bucolic Kailzie Gardens.

“We love performing in the Borders area, it’s really a milestone for us, moving from our extensive English and Welsh touring, then breaking into beautiful Scotland.

“It usually means we’ve got about a third of the tours left, which is welcome news for our heroic troupes, who will each have cycled 1000 miles already!”

Since they began, the group has cycled over 8,200 miles across the whole of the UK.

And this autumn they will surpass the 10,000-mile mark with both productions.

They are proud to be the only theatre company to combine sustainability and Shakespeare, while leading the way on achieving accessible and affordable theatre for all ages.

Jack added: “While the biggest theatre festival in the world takes place in Edinburgh, we’re proud to bring theatre to venues all over Scotland and the Borders.

“Our all-female The Tempest is completely barmy, and totally magical.

“And our all-male Much Ado About Nothing is a witty, fast paced romp through one of Shakespeare’s best-loved plays.

“Our Scottish audiences are always brilliant, and we’d love to get as many people along to this Summer’s shows as possible.”

Much Ado About Nothing takes place at Bowhill House on September 1 at 6.30pm.

The Tempest will take place at Kailzie Gardens on August 27 at 6.30pm.

Tickets for both shows can be found at