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A Dream of a show is heading to Norwich Cathedral for 2019 Shakespeare Festival

PUBLISHED: 10:36 05 March 2019 | UPDATED: 10:36 05 March 2019

TLCM performing The Tempest at Norwich Cathedral (C) The Lord Chamberlain's Men

TLCM performing The Tempest at Norwich Cathedral (C) The Lord Chamberlain's Men

(C) The Lord Chamberlain's Men

Mischievous fairies, feuding lovers and a hilarious group of mechanicals are set to entertain audiences in Norwich Cathedral’s cloisters this summer as the words of William Shakespeare once again fill the historic surrounds.

TLCM performing The Tempest at Norwich Cathedral (C) Guy WilkinsonTLCM performing The Tempest at Norwich Cathedral (C) Guy Wilkinson

A Midsummer Night’s Dream will take centre stage in the Shakespeare Festival, the annual open-air celebration of the great playwright which is always a summer highlight in the Cathedral’s cultural calendar.

Tickets are on sale now for the magical midsummer comedy which will be performed by The Lord Chamberlain’s Men on Thursday 11 and Friday 12 July.

Set in an enchanted forest, A Midsummer Night’s Dream is a tale of tangled and true love where chaos ensues as lovers at war cross paths with a fairy king and queen at odds and a meddling sprite named Puck.

Meanwhile Bottom the weaver and his fellow rustic artisans and would-be thespians rehearse a play in honour of Duke Theseus’ wedding.

TLCM performing The Tempest at Norwich Cathedral
(C) Guy WilkinsonTLCM performing The Tempest at Norwich Cathedral (C) Guy Wilkinson

And as the clash between the fairy king and queen, Oberon and Titania, catches everyone in its crossfire, confusion abounds and makes asses of them all.

This latest production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream will be the sixth show The Lord Chamberlain’s Men has brought to the Cathedral’s Shakespeare Festival in recent years.

Last year TLCM wowed audiences with a spellbinding production of The Tempest and the company has also previously performed The Comedy of Errors, Much Ado About Nothing, Twelfth Night and Romeo and Juliet at the Cathedral.

A modern day incarnation of the Bard’s own travelling troupe of players, The Lord Chamberlain’s Men will once again be performing their latest show just as it would have been played out in Shakespeare’s day - with an all-male cast, full Elizabethan costumes and traditional music and dance.

TLCM's previous performance of Much Ado About Nothing (C) The Lord Chamberlain's MenTLCM's previous performance of Much Ado About Nothing (C) The Lord Chamberlain's Men

The Dean of Norwich, the Very Revd Jane Hedges, said: “The Shakespeare Festival has become a wonderful summer tradition here at Norwich Cathedral and over the years thousands of people have enjoyed watching some of Shakespeare’s most famous plays performed against the backdrop of the beautiful Cloisters.

“In recent years The Lord Chamberlain’s Men have become regular visitors to the festival and we are delighted to be welcoming them back again this summer.

“Last year audiences had a great time watching their production of The Tempest and we cannot wait to see what is in store with A Midsummer Night’s Dream - and whether our resident peregrine falcons will once again join in the show!”

It is an extra special year for The Lord Chamberlain’s Men because the company is celebrating its 15th anniversary, and for TLCM artistic director Peter Stickney the Norwich Cathedral performances are always something of a homecoming as he grew up in Saxlingham Nethergate and went to Long Stratton High and Hewett School.

(C) The Lord Chamberlain's Men(C) The Lord Chamberlain's Men

Mr Stickney, who became The Lord Chamberlain’s Men’s artistic director and chief executive in 2016, said audiences would be in for a treat with the company’s special anniversary show which he described as a “magical production of this timeless classic.”

He said: “To reach our 15th birthday is no mean feat. We work hard to bring you the best production every year but really the pleasure is ours, we feel privileged to be able to tour to the stunning locations that we tour to and meet the wonderful people that we meet on the way. Reaching this milestone is a testament to the great work of the many actors and creatives who have worked with us, but we truly couldn’t do any of this without the support of our wonderful venues and amazing audiences who make this such a joy.”

The Lord Chamberlain’s Men will perform A Midsummer Night’s Dream in Norwich Cathedral’s Cloisters on Thursday 11 and Friday 12 July at 7pm.

On both nights, doors will open at 6pm for people to enjoy the beautiful surrounds of the Cloisters before the show.

Tickets cost £20. Concessions (over 60s, NUS and under 16s) £18. Seating will be provided but is unreserved.

For more information and to book tickets, visit www.cathedral.org.uk/shakespeare or call the Norwich Theatre Royal box office on 01603 630000.

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