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Stafford Festival Shakespeare presents The Tempest – cast announcement

Summer is nearly upon us, and with tickets for the 27th annual Stafford Festival Shakespeare (SFS) production of The Tempest already proving popular, Producers are expecting anticipation for this year’s show at Stafford Castle to reach fever pitch following the recent cast announcement featuring a number of famous faces from the stage and screen.

Stephen Beckett

Taking on the illustrious role of ‘Prospero’ is former SFS star and TV regular, Stephen Beckett. Best known for his roles on ITV as PC Jarvis in The Bill and Dr Ramsden in Coronation Street, Stephen trained at RADA and has since carved out an extensive career in theatre, performing at some of the UK’s most renowned venues, such as the West End, the National Theatre and the Royal Exchange. Local audiences will also recognise Stephen from his performance as Benedick in the 2007 SFS production of Much Ado About Nothing.

Staring alongside Stephen as ‘Gonzalo’ will be another well-known face from the world of television: Richard Gibson. Fans of the popular 1980s BBC sitcom, ‘Allo ‘Allo!, will recognise Richard as the hilarious Her Flick – the much hated Gestapo Officer of the series. Richard has also notched up appearances on the cult classic Channel 4 comedy, Toast of London, and performed at celebrated theatre venues across the country.

Richard Gibson

Elsewhere, the roles of Caliban and Miranda will be played by SFS newcomers Zephryn Taitte and Grace Carter, respectively. Zephryn’s was recently featured in the Financial Times as ‘One to Watch’, and his TV credits include the BBC series, The Hour. Grace trained at Bristol Old Vic Theatre School and has gone on to star in acclaimed productions of One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest and All My Sons.

Zephryn Taitte

Two familiar faces from last year’s show, James Lawrence and Recce Richardson, will make a popular return to SFS for 2017. Taking on the role of ‘Sebastian’, James will no doubt bring the same energy and presence to the Stafford Castle stage as he did playing ‘Cassio’ in Othello, with Reece – another singled out for critical acclaim last summer – set to play ‘Ferdinand’.

Finally, with a host of extensive stage and screen credits, the remaining cast members are made up entirely of SFS debutants – with Maisey Bawden taking on the role of ‘Adriana’, Johnathan Charles set to play ‘Stephano’, ‘Trinculo’ played by James Hornsby, ‘Antonio’ by Morgan Philpott, and ‘Ariel’ by Gavin Swift.

Grace Carter

“What an incredible show we have in store for audiences this year at Stafford Festival Shakespeare” commented Producer Derrick Gask.

“We are all excited to be working with such an amazing cast of actors, many of whom audiences will recognise from their previous work in film, theatre and television. Tickets are selling fast so I would encourage everyone who hasn’t got theirs yet to do so, in order to avoid disappointment” concluded Gask.

The Tempest will open on Thursday 22nd June and run until Saturday 8th July 2017 at Stafford Castle. For the first time in its 27 year, SFS 2017 will also feature a Sunday performance on 25th June at 5pm.

Tickets start from £13.50. Full information, including this year’s catering options, can be obtained from the box office on 01785 619080 or by visiting www.staffordfestivalshakespeare.com


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Stafford Gatehouse Theatre
Eastgate Street, Stafford, ST16 2LT

Box Office: 01785 619080
Email: gatehouse@freedom-leisure.co.uk

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