I never liked learning drab old Shakespeare at school. Trying to understand metaphor, iambic pentameter and learning quotes by heart to regurgitate on to exam papers was all rather dull.
So imagine my surprise when I finally saw Henry V, played out on a country house lawn on a summers evening. With a glass of fizz in hand I was transported back 500 years to the field of Agincourt and as the sun went down, so I walked with ‘the young and war like Harry’ amongst the campfires before the great battle and as he watched his men asleep before the dawn and certain death …understood that ‘but for ceremony, such a wretch, Winding up days with toil and nights with sleep, Had the forehand and vantage of a king.”
I was converted! So for the past 10 years ComXo have sponsored a mini Shakespeare Festival at a wonderful location at the Old Ruins, St Leonards Hill, Windsor. We have frolicked in the forest with The Merry Wives of Windsor, ridden with the King at Agincourt, watched as murderous Macbeth makes his fiendish pact, sparred with wit with As You Like it, cried with grief as Romeo and Juliet , the ‘star crossed lovers take their life’, and of course entered the magical world of A Midsummer Night Dream.
This year we have taken the festival in a new direction by sponsoring Young Actors of Windsor (YAOW) to once again stage this wonderfully evocative play.
The hill is the perfect setting for the play as we will move from in front of the old ruins (Athens ) to the fairy magical kingdom beneath our very own 1000 year old oak tree. YAOW have gone all out on this production hiring in an experienced and well versed cast to portray the play in full Shakespearean costumes.
For the first time this year the event is open to the public and will run for 3 evening performances on the 5th 6th and 7th of July at 19.00 and one matinee on the 7th at 14.00. People are encouraged to bring a picnic to enjoy in the beautiful private gardens from 5pm.
To get an idea of what it is like press the link below
Details of the event and tickets can be found at www.yaowtheatre.com.