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Norwich Cathedral gear up for Shakespeare festival

18:30 02 July 2012

The Dean of Norwich the Very Reverend Graham Smith and Desmond Barrit, patron of the Shakespeare Festival in the cloisters at Norwich Cathedral.

The Dean of Norwich the Very Reverend Graham Smith and Desmond Barrit, patron of the Shakespeare Festival in the cloisters at Norwich Cathedral.

Keith Whitmore +44 (0)7785 354701

William Shakespeare’s way with words is poised to mystify Norfolk as the open air theatre productions return to the cathedral’s cloisters for a fourth year.

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If all the world is a stage, the city is set to be part of it as it as Norwich’s Shakespeare Festival runs next week from July 11 to 14, in association with the Eastern Daily Press.

The GB Theatre Company and professional actors will be performing The Taming of the Shrew and The Tempest in the romantically lit cloisters.

The Dean of Norwich, the Very Reverend Graham Smith said he was delighted to have the theatre return to the cathedral.

He said: “In a previous year’s performance it rained and rained.

“But in typical British spirit the packed audience sat it out and fully embraced the performance.”

He added: “The opportunity to show Shakespeare in an open area with a team of professional actors is a great one.”

Actor Desmond Barrit, patron of the Shakespeare Festival, has great experience with the works of Shakespeare.

He said: “Even if some people understand none, or some, or all of Shakespeare, I still think everyone can get something out of it.

“Something that has always stuck with me was when a young boy said to me, after he saw a Shakespeare play I was in, ‘I will remember this for the rest of my life’.

“That really touched me and affirms that everyone should have a moment like that.”

Mr Barrit, who has appeared in the pantomime in Norwich as well as at Sheringham’s Little Theatre, aid that he had a house in Norfolk and had great affection for the county.

The first of the productions, The Taming of the Shrew, is the comedy centring on a couple’s relationship and the “taming” of the headstrong Katherina.

It is directed by Jenny Stephens, director of BBC Radio 4’s The Archers, and runs Wednesday, July 11, and Friday, July 13.

The Tempest, concerning the themes of love, truth and time, will show Thursday, July 12, and Saturday, July 14, and is directed by Jack Shepherd, from ITV’s Wycliffe.

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