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Changeling Theatre Company announce Heart of Kent Hospice charity dates at Allington Castle, Maidstone

By Angela Cole

Theatre fans could get a rare glimpse behind the walls of a private castle at two sought-after open air charity performances.

Maidstone-based Changeling Theatre has announced the two shows at Allington Castle in Maidstone in aid of the Heart of Kent Hospice in Aylesford - but each has just 100 tickets.

The performances at the castle, which is privately owned and not usually open to the public, will both be on Saturday, July 27 and are part of the company's popular open air tour of the county.

The Changeling Theatre's shows for 2019 will be A Winter's Tale and Nell Gwynn
The Changeling Theatre's shows for 2019 will be A Winter's Tale and Nell Gwynn

Venues for the tour, which include castles, gardens, beaches and parks, are not usually announce until Valentine's Day, but the two in aid of the hospice have been released early, and tickets are on sale now. All come with a glass of bubbly or soft drink.

Two plays will be performed during the tour. The Winter’s Tale by William Shakespeare, a fairy story set in Sicily and Bohemia, will include Changeling touches, such as ABBA references, plus Shakespeare’s most famous but challenging stage direction: ‘Exit, pursued by a bear.’

Allington Castle in Maidstone
Allington Castle in Maidstone

The second is the smash hit comedy from The Globe, Nell Gwynn by Jessica Swale, charting the rise of an unlikely heroine, from her roots in Coal Yard Alley, to her success as Britain’s most celebrated actress, and her hard-won place in the heart of the King.

The Changeling Theatre's shows for 2019 include A Winter's Tale
The Changeling Theatre's shows for 2019 include A Winter's Tale

Creative director Rob Forknall said: "It's the first time we have performed a play in the open air by a living, female playwright. We are very excited. I saw this show at the Globe and thought it perfect for our audiences - sexy and funny. The Winter's Tale was a surprise for me as a summer play, but the audiences love its beautiful verse and fairytale feel.”

The tour runs from Friday, June 28 to Sunday, August 18. For more details go to changeling-theatre.com

Tickets for the Allington Castle show are available at hokh.org/events

Changeling Theatre performed Measure for Measure last year
Changeling Theatre performed Measure for Measure last year

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