Shakespeare-themed football will help club and festival

The Walks Stadium, Tennyson Road, King's Lynn. Home of King's Lynn Town Football Club. Picture: Ian

The Walks Stadium, Tennyson Road, King's Lynn. Home of King's Lynn Town Football Club. Picture: Ian Burt. - Credit: IAN BURT

An ongoing sponsorship between King's Lynn Town FC and the Shakespeare Festival aims to attract different audiences to show support for the town's historical artefact.

The King's Lynn Shakespeare Festival Theatre Company sponsorship investment, which has been ongoing since the beginning of the current season, hopes football fans will be inspired to learn more about the Shakespeare Festival.

The festival will be the match-day sponsor for the home game between King's Lynn Town and Chesterfield at The Walks on Saturday, April 10.

St George's Guildhall in King's Lynn. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

St George's Guildhall in King's Lynn. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2019

The sponsorship arrangement also involves a permanent festival advertising hoarding at the football pitch,  on match-day shirts of the youth teams, the ladies team and the Under 21s.

Andrew Jarvis, the festival's artistic director, said the reason for this deal was to also raise awareness of the importance of the Guildhall in King's Lynn as a unique historical artefact and festival among "ordinary working people" not just the middle classes - hoping it will encourage people through their doors to hear and listen against all "current cultural influences."


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He said: "That is the audience that I want for the festival - the same people who go to football matches.

Actor Andrew Jarvis is hosting King's Lynn's first Shakespeare Festival Photo: Andrew Jarvis

Andrew Jarvis, King's Lynn Shakespeare Festival's artistic director. - Credit: Andrew Jarvis

"I would love that football crowd at The Walks (KLFC's ground) to be the very ones whom I can enable to see that Shakespeare is something that they can enjoy as well as participants in a similar kind of storytelling to football."

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Mr Jarvis added: "The club have been most generous in offering their reciprocal support to the festival and the Guildhall,  promising to bring several staff and players along to any events held there.

"I shall certainly be focusing on their involvement at the 2022 Shakespeare Festival."

Andrew Jarvis as Bartholomew Grady in "The Only True History of Lizzie Finn" at Southwark Playhouse

Andrew Jarvis as Bartholomew Grady in "The Only True History of Lizzie Finn" at Southwark Playhouse in 2012. Photo: Andrew Jarvis - Credit: Andrew Jarvis

He said both parties were equally excited about the "unusual nature" of the arrangement, with Mark Hearle and Stephen Cleeve describing it as being "so different from the norm."

A similar arrangement with Chesterfield Football Club has been set up, with a Shakespeare Festival hoarding on display at the club's football ground. It will also be the match-day sponsor for the return fixture between the two clubs on May 11.

The King's Lynn Shakespeare Festival has been postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic but organisers plan to make a bigger return in 2022.

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