Town prepares for first Shakespeare Festival

Shakespeare Festival rehearsals
Shakespeare Festival rehearsals

THERE won’t be Much Ado About Nothing when a festival gets underway in Belper on Friday.

The town’s first ever Shakespeare Festival is set to delight fans of the famous Bard this weekend.

But even if you’re not a fan of William Shakespeare, it promises to be a spectacle well-worth taking a look at.

Cynthia Maddock, a volunteer at the Strutts Centre on Derby Road, Belper, where the event is to be held, has seen first-hand the preparations that have gone into organising the festival.

She said: “It will be a really fun event. I am looking forward to it.

“So much hard work has gone into staging it.

“I hope plenty of people come down, because I am sure they will enjoy it.”

On Friday, December 9, and Saturday, December 10, there will be performances of extracts from Shakespeare’s works, including Macbeth, The Tempest, Much Ado About Nothing, Othello and Hamlet. They will be performed by actors from a broad age range.

On both days, the performances start at 7.30pm. Tickets are £5 and can be bought from Strutts or the newsagent at 31A King Street, Belper. Under-12s get in free.

Also, on Friday evening, there will be a performance from the Chevin Singers and recitations from members of the Belper U3A Poetry Society

On Saturday the programme will be slightly different, with pupils from Belper School using the opportunity to perform as part of work towards their Silver and Gold Arts awards.

Also on Saturday, from 10am at Strutts, there will be a Shakespeare Exhibition. It is free to get in and will include visual and musical presentations by the U3A Shakespeare group, as well as a range of artefacts.

Organiser Joan Hardy said: “There will be something for all the family.”

From 2pm on Saturday afternoon, also at Strutts, there will be an open play reading of A Midsummer Night’s Dream by the U3A Shakespeare group.

Throughout the weekend there will be a number of quizzes to do, with prizes available.

Joan added: “We hope people will come along to one of the events, and we look forward to seeing them there.”

If you want any more information on the event, pop along to the Strutts Centre, or contact the volunteers there on 01773 599993.