Terry Grimley looks ahead to the Ludlow Festival.
The Ludlow Festival, traditionally built around an outdoor Shakespeare production in the evocative ruins of the town’s castle, celebrates its 50th anniversary this year.
This year’s play is Romeo and Juliet, which continues the festival’s recent tradition of co-producing with Exeter’s Northcott Theatre, one of the venues threatened in the Arts Council’s notorious cuts last year.
Kate Saxon directs the production, which runs from June 20 to July 4, starting at 8.30 nightly (except Sundays), matinees on Wednesday at 2.30pm and Saturdays at 4pm.
Other highlights of the Golden Jubilee programme include appearances by Sir David Frost, recently given a new lease of celebrity as one of the growing list of real people depicted on film by the actor Michael Sheen (Tuesday, June 23), author Louis de Bernières (Sunday, June 28) and actor Sir Derek Jacobi (Sunday, June 28). All these events take place at the Ludlow Assembly Rooms, which also hosts a Youth Dance Showcase on June 25.
The music programme includes a concert on June 20 at St Laurence’s Parish Church with the Grimethorpe Colliery Band – stars of the 1995 film Brassed Off, whose star Pete Postlethwaite, who lives nearby, will introduce this performance (subject to availability).
Also at St Laurence’s, there will be performances by cellist Julian Lloyd Webber and trad jazz veteran Terry Lightfoot.
* Booking opens on the internet from Sunday and the box office will be open from May 5. For further information see www.ludlowfestival.co.uk