There’s Much Ado about Shakespeare in Lancaster this spring. For the city is hosting its first ever Season of Shakespeare between February and March, as Dukes’ marketing officer LOUISE BRYNING explains.
Although the debate as to whether or not Shakespeare ever visited Lancashire goes on, he was certainly familiar with the word Lancaster.
John of Gaunt and the Dukes of Lancaster are inextricably linked with both his history plays and Lancaster Castle’s main gateway.
Add to this the trial and execution of the Pendle Witches in the town amid the on-going witch hysteria only a few years after Shakespeare had written Macbeth, and there are many good reasons for the city to celebrate the Bard.
The British Shakespeare Association certainly think so as they have chosen Lancaster University to stage their 10th anniversary conference from February 24-26 which is open to the general public.
This conference also coincides with the biennial run of a Shakespeare play at Lancaster Castle. The city’s own Demi-paradise productions present their first comedy – Much Ado About Nothing – at the Castle from February 28-March 24.
The promenade production is set in 1890s rural England and scenes take place throughout this historic building and, for the first time, in Lancaster Priory Church too.
This production will be particularly special for actors Richard Hand and Gemma North who became a couple after meeting in the 2010 Demi-paradise production, Merchant of Venice, in 2010.
Richard was last seen in The BFG at The Dukes which is playing a major role in Lancaster’s Season of Shakespeare. It launches the season with screenings of Coriolanus (15), directed by and starring Ralph Fiennes from February 17-19.
See the Lancaster Guardian (02-02-12) for full story.