Making history come to life
An ambitious production of a Shakespeare play is designed to entertain audiences and be a fantastic night for all. Laura Mowat talks to the producer and director about what can be expected.
BEACONSFIELD-BASED, The Garden Players, an amateur acting company, will perform Henry 1V, Part I from Wednesday, June 17 until Saturday, June 20 at Stubbings House, near Maidenhead.
The play, which is believed to have been written in 1597, is both a history and a comedy production.
It exhibits a span of history that begins with Hotspur’s battle in Northumberland against the Douglas late in 1402, and ends with the defeat of the rebels at Shrewsbury in the middle of 1403. Producer of the play, Steve McAdam, of Ledborough Wood in Beaconsfield, said: “As our reputation has grown, we have attracted audiences from all across the Thames Valley. There are actors from all over. It is one of our favourite plays as a group and it is my personal favourite, I think that it is Shakespeare’s greatest creation.”
In the play, the character Falstaff is Graham Weeks, Hal is played by William Branston, King Henry by Steve McAdam and Henry Percy by Tim Harling with Grainne Harling playing Lady Percy.
Mr McAdam, who has lived in Beaconsfield for 32 years, added: “The actor who plays Falstaff has had us all laughing so much in rehearsals.
“We are absolutely delighted with how it has turned out, we have a very strong cast. The play is very accessible, it is history. There will be fun, excitement and fantastic acting. The setting is magnificent and it will create a great atmosphere for the play.”
The performance will be raising funds
for Child Bereavement UK, which supports children and parents when there is a bereavement and SportsAble, a sports disability charity.
It is an open-air play, but audiences will be under cover and people can go and enjoy a picnic in the grounds.
Director, John Timewell, said: “It is a fantastic play and very funny. We have some impressive battle scenes and horses feature in the play. “It will be a great evening out.” The 22-strong cast have been rehearsing since March for the play.
The group was founded in 2008 and since its inaugural 2009 production on Much Ado About Nothing, the organisation has raised in excess of £63,000 for charity.
The Garden Players bring Henry IV, Part I to Stubbings House next week