3 ISSUES FOR JUST £3 Subscribe to Sussex Life today click here

A look ahead to this year’s Arundel Festival

PUBLISHED: 11:23 02 August 2016 | UPDATED: 11:23 02 August 2016

Shakespeare in the Collector Earl's Garden

Shakespeare in the Collector Earl's Garden

Archant

An open-air Shakespeare performance in 1977 sowed the seeds for the first Arundel Festival in 1979. All these years later the Bard is central to this nine-day community event, as Jenny Mark-Bell discovers

It was Shakespeare who started it. In 1977 a performance of one of his plays in Arundel Castle’s Tilting Yard, staged to raise money for the town’s Silver Jubilee celebrations, was a sell-out success. The next year was the same story. So, in 1979, Arundel Festival was born, with a production of Twelfth Night at its heart.

Thirty seven years later the Bard is still a big part of the community event, taking place from 20-29 August. This year’s plays, performed in the castle’s Collector Earl’s Garden, are the much-loved tragedy Romeo and Juliet and pastoral comedy As You Like It.

Barrie Palmer, co-owner of GB Theatre Company which has brought Shakespeare’s plays to life outdoors since 2010, says the prospect of performing at Arundel Castle is a major enticement to his actors. Barrie, a former police officer who became an actor at the age of 51, says: “We do Shakespeare as he did it himself – we are following that tradition.”

Of course, acting outside brings its challenges – “we don’t want it to rain!” And for actors more used to television or radio work, projection can be a challenge – although since the audience for Shakespeare in the Collector Earl’s Garden has grown to more than 800, some microphones are mounted in the performance area to ensure those at the back can hear what’s going on.

The company performs throughout the summer at venues up and down the country (there are also performances in East Sussex, at Alfriston and Herstmonceux), but Arundel is a favourite: “It is such a beautiful place and everybody is so nice!”

Barrie says Shakespeare is for all the family. “We are trying to get more and more children in the audience. Wherever we go we put on workshops for children and you get kids of five and six. I had a lady thank me recently for introducing her nine-year-old daughter to Shakespeare.”

This year, as we commemorate 400 years since Shakespeare’s death, his legacy is as strong as ever. Barrie thinks that is because his plays are so relevant. “In As You Like It you have the Seven Ages of Man speech. That’s just as true now as it was then!” 


Good to know

• This year’s event takes place from 20-29 August

• An app developed by a local company will enable users to keep track of Arundel Festival events. To download just click on the red circle icon on the Arundel Festival website www.arundelfestival.co.uk
• Arundel Festival is supported by Christ’s Hospital


More…

Some of the best farm shops in Sussex - We love to celebrate all things Sussex, so we’ve rounded up a few farm shops in the county where you can find a whole range of fantastic local produce.

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Sussex Life visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Sussex Life staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Sussex Life account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

More from Out & About

All along the A27 there are calls for bypasses to ease congestion. But plans to deal with Arundel’s bottleneck have met with anger

Read more

With the South Downs, quaint villages and coastal trails, Sussex is a great place for a walk. Here we round up some of the best

Read more
Friday, September 14, 2018

10 of the most beautiful, inspiring and simply stunning photos of Sussex shared on Instagram over the past week...

Read more
Tuesday, September 11, 2018

2016 marked the 950th anniversary of the Battle of Hastings. We take a closer look at the castles built to protect Sussex from invasion

Read more
Monday, September 10, 2018

Bearing links to some of the county’s famous smugglers, Alfriston is a small village with a lot of history – including an impressive ‘cathedral’

Read more
Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Laura Paton has found a great restaurant off the beaten track in Sidlesham – but keep it under your hat

Read more
Tuesday, August 28, 2018

We round up some of the best events and things to do across Sussex this month

Read more
Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Treat yourself, family and friends to lunch and afternoon tea with a visit to one of these fantastic Sussex tea rooms

Read more
Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Up twitten and down smugglers’ track, Clive Agran discovers there’s much more to Hastings’ history than the famous battle

Read more
Monday, August 20, 2018

Head to these South Downs villages for a chance to experience modern amenities and stunning, picturesque views

Read more
Monday, August 20, 2018

A selection of fantastic bird-life centres to visit right across Sussex

Read more
Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Take a day-trip to one of these gorgeous downland villages, urges Hazel Sillver. They offer great walks, country pubs and wonderful views.

Read more
Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Enjoy wide green space and sea air on this downland coastal circular

Read more
Friday, August 3, 2018

There are some fantastic restaurants and cafés in Eastbourne serving up delectable food and catering for all tastes. We round up some of the best…

Read more

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy


Latest Competitions & Offers

Topics of Interest

Food and Drink Directory

Subscribe or buy a mag today

subscription ad

Follow us on Twitter


Like us on Facebook


Local Business Directory


Job search in your local area



Property Search