If performing one of the Bard's works wasn't challenging enough for an actor, think what it must be like being a Handlebards' actor.

That's because Handlebards are the world's first, and only, cycling Shakespearean troupe, making their way to each venue, along with their sets, props and costumes on bike.

Paul Moss, along with three friends, formed the group back in 2013 after they'd graduated from university.

He says: “We all knew each from different walks of life, some university, some through sixth form and after we had finished university, we just wanted a bit of adventure. Who knew it would end up us running an actual theatre company.

"We had all done shows before so we knew it had to be something to do with theatre, and what we all the Brits winning cycling medals at the 2012 Olympics, we hit upon using our bikes to do a theatre tour."

Since then the Handlebards have gone from strength to strength, cycling along tracks and roads to get to their venues, with the occasional setback such as losing their trailers on rocky terrain or the odd broken cycle chain, puncture and even crash, one of which resulted in their director injuring their back.

Formerly from Wigan but now based in London, the group are back on the road for their latest tours, The Tempest and Much Ado About Nothing, the latter taking place at Layer Marney Tower in September and the former at Tymperleys in Colchester next Wednesday.

"We run two tours, one all male, and one all female," Paul adds, "and on average they all do between 1,200 to 1,500 miles per tour, depending on where we are going and how many detours they've had to do. This year's there's about 85 dates, which will take place over 21 weeks. We try to limit it to 30 miles between each venue but they have to carry everything in two trailers and ten panniers so it can be quite gruelling at times, especially when you're going over the Yorkshire Dales in 32 degree heat."

But travelling by bike does offer it's advantages, like saving the environment of course but also, more neatly, a chance to perform Macbeth on top of the actual Dunsinane Hill, which features so prominently in the Scottish play.

Paul adds: "We've performed in all kinds of different places from castles, on boats, at bicycle shops, on World Heritage sites and at the Royal Botanical Gardens at the Edinburgh Fringe but I think doing Macbeth on Dunsinane Hill. The audience had to help us carry pieces of the set up the hill for us but the weather was amazing and when twilight set it was an incredible place to be."

With their first international tour to the US planned for later on in the year - now that’s a tour - The Tempest is at Tymperleys, Trinity Street, Colchester, on Wednesday, May 22. Gates open at 6pm with the show starting at 7pm.

For tickets go to their website at handlebards.com