Shakespeare in the grounds of Arundel Castle

Arundel Castle and Gardens is to be the medieval backdrop to outdoor performances of Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice on Friday, August 17 and Saturday, August 18.

Merchant of Venice Arundel 2018
Merchant of Venice Arundel 2018

Spokeswoman Emma Hynes said: “Kicking off the 40th annual Arundel Festival, theatre group Illryia will make its debut at the Castle with these intimate evening performances.

“Comprised of only five actors, this talented and versatile company will perform The Merchant of Venice demonstrating each actor’s abilities through the numerous characters they will play.”

Oliver Gray, artistic director, said: “The Merchant of Venice confronts timeless issues of love and betrayal. As well as being a morally-reflective play, it is also a dark comedy known for delighting audiences with its plot and punchy lines. As a group, Illyria values authenticity in its theatrical interpretation of Shakespeare’s script. However, we are not slavishly reverential. We treat the plays with respect but aren’t afraid of acknowledging Shakespeare’s humour.”

Arundel Castle’s manager, Stephen Manion, added: “There is always a wonderful atmosphere at the Shakespeare performances and this year has cause for even greater excitement. I am delighted that the play will be performed by such a revered theatre company as Illyria, which will be the ideal way to commence Arundel Festival’s 40th year. We are looking forward to welcoming visitors to enjoy a classic Shakespeare play in an enchanting setting, performed by true professionals.”

Guests are invited to enjoy the Castle gardens for a pre-show picnic, Tickets Tickets and times: 5.30pm castle grounds open; 6.30pm The Collector Earl’s Garden gates open; 7.30pm performances start. two hours with 30 min interval.