King’s story to be staged at rumoured site of his son’s grave Manor is ideal backdrop for drama of Richard III
email@example.com 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:// changeling-theatre.com/tickets
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