King’s story to be staged at ru­moured site of his son’s grave Manor is ideal back­drop for drama of Richard III

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - What’s On - By James Scott

js­cott@thek­m­ A pro­duc­tion of Shake­speare’s Richard III will be held at East­well Manor, where the monarch’s il­le­git­i­mate son is be­lieved to be buried.

The king’s fi­nal rest­ing place be­neath a car park in Le­ices­ter was con­firmed by DNA test­ing ear­lier this year, which sparked lo­cal de­bate about a tomb in the grounds of St Mary’s East­well.

The grave­stone, with the in­scrip­tion “Re­puted to be the tomb of Richard Plan­ta­genet”, is be­lieved to be the rest­ing place of an el­derly brick­layer called Richard of East­well, who worked for Sir Thomas Moyle, the lord of East­well manor.

The lo­cal le­gend was that he was the il­le­git­i­mate son of the king, liv­ing an in­con­spic­u­ous life to avoid ex­e­cu­tion un­der the reign of the Tu­dors.

East­well Manor will host two out­door pro­duc­tions this month by the Changeling Theatre Com­pany, shed­ding light on the gothic world of mur­der, plots and in­trigue.

Artis­tic di­rec­tor Rob Fork­nall said: “I’ve wanted to do Richard III for years, it’s by far my favourite Shake­speare. But our de­ci­sion to tour it this year was made be­fore the real king’s re­mains were dis­cov­ered in Le­ices­ter last Au­gust.

“Ev­ery year we ask our au­di­ences to choose which Shake­speare they would like us to stage the fol­low­ing sum­mer. Clearly our au­di­ences were ready for some blood and vil­lainy, as the ma­jor­ity chose Richard.”

The play, star­ring ac­tor Alex Mug­naioni as Richard III, is fa­mous for its Machi­avel­lian and de­formed pro­tag­o­nist whom ev­ery­one loves to hate.

The pro­duc­tion will be staged at East­well Manor from 7.30pm on Sun­day, July 14, and Sun­day, July 28.

Guests can start the evening with a three-course din­ner at 5.30pm in the Manor Restau­rant be­fore the per­for­mance.

For tick­ets for the East­well per­for­mances, £55 with din­ner or £16 for just the play, call 01233 213020. There will also be show­ings at Ash­ford’s God­in­ton House on Satur­day and at Bid­den­den Vine­yards on July 26.

For full list­ings go to http://­ets

The tomb in the grounds of St Mary’s East­well is re­puted to be the rest­ing place of the il­le­git­i­mate son of King Richard III, right

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