Belper celebrates work of The Bard

NBENLM111210B1 Shakespeare: Chairman of Belper Strutts Society Nick McLeod and volunteers Janet Honey and Anne Sadler at the Shakespeare festival.
NBENLM111210B1 Shakespeare: Chairman of Belper Strutts Society Nick McLeod and volunteers Janet Honey and Anne Sadler at the Shakespeare festival.

IT MIGHT not be ‘Midsummer’, but Belper’s first-ever Shakespeare Festival certainly went like a ‘Dream’.

Fans of famous Bard William Shakespeare flocked to the town’s Strutts Centre for the momentous event on Friday and Saturday.

NBENLM111210B2 Shakespeare:  Strutts Society volunteer Anne Sadler at the Shakespeare festival with one of the outfits borrowed from the Shakespeare society.

NBENLM111210B2 Shakespeare: Strutts Society volunteer Anne Sadler at the Shakespeare festival with one of the outfits borrowed from the Shakespeare society.

There was singing, poetry, performances of extracts from Shakespeare’s works, music and an exhibition.

Organiser Joan Hardy said: “The Strutts Society was very pleased with the response to the Shakespeare Festival.

“The old school made a great venue for the event, which was very well attended on each evening.

“The performances were enhanced by period music from Barbara Plant and technical effects were provided by Louis Vella and Jamie Vella.

NBENLM111210B3 Shakespeare: Joan Hardy Organiser of the Shakespeare festival with a replica of the Globe Theater

NBENLM111210B3 Shakespeare: Joan Hardy Organiser of the Shakespeare festival with a replica of the Globe Theater

“It was good to see different groups and individuals coming together to create this unusual entertainment. There was a different programme for each evening.

“Many of the visitors expressed appreciation of the Shakespeare Exhibition, which was both attractive and informative.

“I have received very pleasing feedback and I wish to thank everyone who took part, either as performers or contributors to the smooth running of the festival.”

On both evenings actors from various age groups performed extracts from Shakespeare’s legendary works, including Macbeth, The Tempest, Much Ado About Nothing, Othello and Hamlet, among others.

Also on Friday, there was a performance from the Chevin Singers and readings by members of the Belper University of the Third Age (U3A) poetry group.

On the Saturday, pupils from Belper School performed.

There was also the Shakespeare Exhibition, which featured visual and musical presentations from the U3A Shakespeare group, as well as a range of artefacts such as clothing and a model of the Globe Theatre.

On Saturday afternoon, the U3A Shakespeare group performed an open play reading of A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

Also, Belper drama teacher Jeff Moule prepared a prologue featuring extracts from several plays.

Throughout the weekend there was also a number of quizzes to complete, with prizes available.

Mrs Hardy added: “There really was something for all the family.”