Be captivated by a festival that brings the Bard to Petersfield

By Post  
Monday 3rd July 2017 1:00 pm
Last year’s festival production of The Tempest ()

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LOVE is very much in the air – the open air – at Petersfield Shakespeare Festival which has exciting alfresco performances in a beautiful setting at Bedales School this month.

The programme is packed with comedy and romance, with themes of disguise and mistaken identity, and a lot of cross dressing.

The intimate festival, which runs from July 19 to 30, takes place on a specially crafted stage next to the 17th century Sotherington Barn in the school grounds.

This year’s centrepiece is a production of Shakespeare’s most elegant comedy, As You Like It, which will be directed by last year’s successful duo of Jake Smith and Chris Cuming.

The show, on July 19 to 24, and July 28 and 29, with all performances at 7.45pm, will create, organiser say, “an energetic world which captures a joyously displaced portrait of life and theatre in the Elizabethan era and now.

“Audiences will be captivated by brilliant conversation, gentle satire and reflections on how bewildering yet utterly pleasurable life can be.”

It is a certainly a firm favourite among the Bard’s comedies and features some of his best-loved characters running the glorious gamut of pastoral romance.

The festival is welcoming two acclaimed touring companies too, Illyria and Merely Theatre.

Illyria is returning to Petersfield to put on a fast-paced and authentically Elizabethan in style The Comedy of Errors. Shakespeare’s shortest, funniest and most rumbustious comedy can be seen on July 27, at 7.45pm.

Merely Theatre is making its first festival outing, to bring Romeo and Juliet and Twelfth Night, on July 30, at 2.30pm and 7.45pm respectively.

Each of the five actors is twinned by another of the opposite gender, with the result men and women playing every role in any and all combinations.

The world premiere of two Shakespeare-inspired works – The Buried Moon and Shakespeare’s Lost Women –?are taking place on July 25 and 26, at 7.45pm.

Buy tickets at One Tree Books, Petersfield, or online at