Shakespeare at Arundel

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GB THEATRE has announced the cast list for its 2012 Shakespeare productions at the Arundel Festival. The company is making its third appearance at the heart of the Festival where it will be staging open-air performances of The Tempest and The Taming of the Shrew.

Among star names it has lined up for the Castle is that of Jack Shepherd, TV’s Superintendent Wycliffe, who will direct The Tempest. Jack is most widely known for his role in the police series Wycliffe, which is currently running on ITV3.

Company Manager of GB Theatre, David Davies said: “Jack is very creative and has a great love of Shakespeare and so we are very excited that he is joining us at Arundel.”

The Taming of the Shrew will be directed by freelance director, writer and producer Jenny Stephens whose radio credentials include The Archers for BBC Radio 4. Jenny has worked with Birmingham Rep and Bristol Old Vic and was responsible for the fabulous production of The Merry Wives of Windsor at Arundel in 2010 August.

Among actors in this year’s two plays are Dermot Canavan whose small screen appearances include Silent Witness and Daziel and Pascoe for the BBC and Where the Heart Is and Celebrity Stitch Up for ITV. Dermot was also in the original London cast of Hairspray and his radio credits include Front Row.

At Arundel he plays Tranio in Shrew and Stephano in Tempest.

Veteran actor Peter Dineen, who plays Christopher Sly in Shrew and Trinculo in Tempest, is another well-know face whose television appearances have included the series Father Ted, Judge John Deed, London’s Burning and Arriverdeci Millwall. Peter said he was delighted to be working with GB Theatre.

David Davies, who plays Petruchio in Shrew and Antonio in Tempest, has appeared and directed in both GB Theatre Company’s previous appearances in the town. David is a Shakespeare expert who has spent his career touring the world in many of The Bard’s most famous roles while working with numerous Shakespeare companies. His television credits include Stingers, The Sleepover Club, and Bush Patrol.

This year’s Shakespeare menu will again be served in the Castle’s stunning Collector Earl’s Garden between 23 and 25 August and tickets are on sale now the Castle’s website at www.arundelcastle.org

David added: “It is very exciting to have any other opportunity to bring our productions to the Collector Earl’s Garden which is a magnificent and idyllic open air setting for Shakespeare.”

Arundel Festival is one of the major highlights of August on the south coast with the towering walls and sublime gardens of Arundel Castle at its heart.

As well as Shakespeare, the Castle is playing host to the award-winning classical vocal quartet Blake. The highly talented ensemble appear in the Barons’ Hall on Monday 20 August at 7.45pm. Tickets are limited, so early booking is advised.

The quartet, comprising Ollie Baines, Humphrey Berney, Jules Knight and Stephen Bowman have given numerous live performances at sporting events but have also made a name for themselves by regularly singing for charity. They have also toured internationally with world renowned artists such as Katherine Jenkins.

Making a return visit to Arundel Castle after more than 10 years is the Syd Lawrence Orchestra. On Tuesday 21 August they will treat Festival fans to a wonderful al fresco performance in the Collector Earl’s Garden.

Originally founded in 1967 by trumpeter and arranger Syd Lawrence, the Orchestra is renowned for its exciting blend of high octane “big band swing” and classic dance music. Its repertoire ranges from Glenn Miller through the era of the great Count Basie Orchestra to the hit songs of Frank Sinatra and Ella Fitzgerald.

The Orchestra, directed since Syd’s retirement in 1996 by Chris Dean, will focus on the music of Glenn Miller for a truly nostalgic evening with dancing as an optional extra.

Tickets for all the events are available on-line - www.arundelcastle.org