Published: 06:00, 07 April 2021
Live theatre, music and comedy will return to one of the county's castles next month and throughout the summer.
Following Hever Festival Theatre’s successful bitesize season last year, a socially-distanced programme of varied performances will be staged in four venues within the gardens and grounds of Hever Castle near Edenbridge.
Beginning on Saturday, May 29, live performances will be staged at the Two Sisters Theatre - the original theatre where the seating is tiered and under cover - the Loggia by the lake; Anne Boleyn’s Walk, a secluded open-air ancient woodland glade and on the Main Lawn.
The space around them allows audiences to choose where to sit and enjoy the shows from their own chairs or blanket.
The open-air festival, now in its 38th year, will open with The People’s String Foundation featuring musicians Ben and Zaid use music, puppetry, art, cinematography and animation set to the backdrop of their 32-piece Virtual Gypsy Orchestra.
Shakespeare fans can see The Lord Chamberlain’s Men with Macbeth on Sunday, June 13 as it was originally performed, by an all-male cast with Elizabethan costumes, music and dance. The Three Inch Fools also return to the Loggia with The Merry Wives of Windsor on Monday, August 30.
The Two Sisters Theatre will be hosting entertainers including Britain’s Got Talent finalist, magician Ben Hart on Friday, July 23; singer Stacey Kent on Sunday, July 25 and BBC Radio 2 favourite Reverend Kate Bottley on Tuesday, August 3.
There will also be a programme of family shows, starting with half term entertainment from Illyria Theatre’s The Further Adventures of Dr Dolittle; the comedy Blue Planet III and Immersion Theatre’s wild adaptation of The Jungle Book.
Dustbin Doris will be presented in association with the Tunbridge Wells Puppetry Festival; Horrible Histories: Gorgeous Georgians and Vile Victorians will be staged in August, and there will be a Celebration of Harry Potter.
Kent artists will also be performing, including Night Owls Amy Winehouse Tribute Back to Black; First Knight Theatre’s second instalment of Alan Ayckbourn’s Norman Conquest Trilogy Living Together and Hever Castle’s historian, Dr Owen Emmerson with Claire Ridgway, will spend an evening charting the history of Hever’s most famous residents.
The Last Night of the Hever Proms will return on Sunday, August 29, and Ronnie Scott’s All Stars will also feature in a new programme of music and narration.
Tickets can be booked online at heverfestival.co.uk or call the box office during working hours on 01732 866114.