The Petersfield Shakespeare Festival announces 2017 Season! “LOVE is in the Open-Air”

The Petersfield Shakespeare Festival is set to return this summer and love is definitely in the air!

This intimate theatrical festival takes place in the inspiring grounds of Bedales School, next to the 17th Century Sotherington Barn between 19th and 30th July.

Themes of disguise and mistaken identity dominate our joyful programme which is packed with comedy, romance - and quite a lot of cross dressing.

As You Like It, Shakespeare’s most elegant comedy, is this year’s centrepiece is a production which will be directed by last year’s dream team of Jake Smith and Chris Cuming. The show will create an energetic world which captures a joyously displaced portrait of life and theatre in the Elizabethan era and now. Audiences will be captivated by brilliant conversation, gentle satire and reflections on how bewildering yet utterly pleasurable life can be.

To inspire and delight audiences further, the festival is pleased to welcome two acclaimed touring companies, Illyria and Merely Theatre

The Comedy of Errors is the bard’s shortest, funniest and most rumbustious comedy. Two sets of identical twins, separated at birth, unknowingly end up in the same city, and through a series of chance meetings their lives and sanity begin to unravel. Following it’s hilarious, sell-out production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream at last year’s Festival, Illyria returns with its intrepid band of five actors, desperately trying to work out how they can possibly reach the end of the play without needing more actors! It’s fast, polished and authentically Elizabethan in style.

Romeo and Juliet and Twelfth Night will be presented by Merely Theatre who are joining us for the first time. In their original approach to Shakespeare, each actor is twinned by another actor of the opposite gender, and they rehearse their parts together. The result is men and women playing every role in any and all potential combinations, creating five-hand Shakespeare plays with immense energy, pace and clarity.

Shakespeare’s Lost Women and The Buried Moon is a world premier double bill of new writing inspired by Shakespeare. The Petersfield Shakespeare Festival is privileged to present these specially commission works by Greg Mosse and Laura Turner respectively. These two short contrasting pieces will entertain and challenge, delight and disturb…..