A rare performance of Shakespeare’s love poem Venus and Adonis will be taking to the stage at Beaulieu.
The critically-acclaimed production will be staged in the historic setting of Beaulieu’s Abbey Domus, on Saturday, October 8.
The poem, dedicated to Montagu ancestor Henry Wriothesley, the 3rd Earl of Southampton who was Shakespeare’s only acknowledged patron, will commemorate the 400th anniversary of the Bard’s death.
Venus and Adonis was Shakespeare’s first ‘big hit’ and was published in 1593.
Funny and wry in its account of the older Venus’ erotic infatuation with the beautiful youth Adonis, the poem had to be reprinted 12 times.
This abridged version, directed by Cecily O’Neill and produced by Hyde900, has already thrilled crowds in London and played to full houses at this year’s Winchester Festival.
Edward Fennell, of Hyde900, said: ‘Venus and Adonis is hardly ever performed and it is because productions of the play are rare that we are so excited to stage it at Beaulieu.’
O’Neill added the poem solidified a strong link between Shakespeare and the young earl.
She said: ‘It is not unreasonable to assume that Shakespeare spent time with the earl in Hampshire following the success of Venus and Adonis.’
Tickets at £15 (with a programme), with a discounted rate for joint bookings, are available at www.beaulieu.co.uk/events/venue-and-adonis/ or by calling 01590 612888.
Doors open at 7pm with the performance starting at 7.30pm.