Titchfield celebrate tenth year with return to roots

Titchfield Festival Theatre are performing Much Ado About Nothing from July 13 until July 23
Titchfield Festival Theatre are performing Much Ado About Nothing from July 13 until July 23
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Full of whispers and rumours, Titchfield Festival Theatre is looking forward to the next 10 years by turning back to its first-ever performance, a production of Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing.

To celebrate the anniversary, the company is putting on the classic play until next Saturday, and has even included some of the original cast in the line-up.

However they are 10 years older and don’t necessarily get the chance to play their original characters.

Kevin Fraser, who is director of both productions is playing Don Pedro, and appeared as Benedick in the original production.

He says: ‘I think I must have got too old. Interestingly enough the girl who played Hero is now playing Beatrice. There are a few who were originally in it. We are getting old friends back together.

I haven’t done it on purpose, it just so happens the girl who played Hero hadn’t done anything and she was back in the area.’

The company has long been associated with Shakespearean plays, with evidence suggesting that Titchfield is where Shakespeare lived and wrote some of his works.

Although Much Ado About Nothing is not expected to be one of these, it is one of his most famous comedies and follows the tale of two pairs of lovers who get caught up in the gossip and rumours that surround them.

Kevin adds: ‘It’s a nice story for people to watch and understand, even if you don’t read a lot of Shakespeare you can easily follow it. We are here to keep the memory of Shakespeare alive and well in Titchfield. There is quite a vast amount of information that suggests he was writing in Titchfield. It’s why we started.’

Even though Much Ado About Nothing is not among the plays thought to have been written in the area, the group thought it the perfect beginning for their shows, and for their 10th anniversary.

He concludes: ‘It’s a very nice light play. It gets everyone in a good mood and it’s just as much for the children. We did get a lot of children coming to see it when it first ran and we want to do the same again now.’

n Tickets: £9 - £11 Titchfield Festival Theatre (01329) 556156 or titchfieldfestivaltheatre.com.