Pantiles Players and the Bard

The Pantiles Players bring their production of Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing to The Noah’s Ark, Lurgashall, from Thursday-Saturday, July 26-28 at 7.45pm.

Based in Tunbridge Wells, the company took over The Noah’s Ark annual open-air theatre productions in 1988 from Tunbridge Wells Drama Club.

This year they are celebrating 70 years of providing local entertainment in their home town of Tunbridge Wells.

“Formed in 1942 to provide local wartime entertainment, since then The Pantiles Players have performed two or three productions a year, touring to The Noah’s Ark with their annual July open-air productions,” said spokeswoman Vera Coombs.

“The Pantiles Players is an amateur theatre company, with a distinguished past going back many decades and with seriously exciting aspirations for the future. Our interest is in quality drama and we welcome anyone with similar enthusiasm for all aspects of theatre - performing, directing, designing, lighting, sound and musical support, costume and set building.

“The Players have performed at various locations around Tunbridge Wells over the years. From 1983 to 2009, our principal productions were on the bandstand in the famous Tunbridge Wells Pantiles. However, times change and the venue is no longer sustainable due to noise from local bars. We have therefore moved our primary locations to Salomons, a stately home in Southborough.

“The Pantiles Players have performed at Salomons since 2007. The location has proved a great success and our loyal following enjoys the unique, private offering of the great house.

“In 1988, the Pantiles Players started touring our summer production to Lurgashall, an idyllic village near Petworth in West Sussex, where performances take place in the garden of the village pub, the Noah’s Ark.”

Tickets £13 adults £11 over 60, £9 under 16. Box office The Noah’s Ark 01428 707346.