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Something wicked coming to Stafford Festival Shakespeare 2018

Stafford Gatehouse Theatre together with Freedom Leisure have announced that the production for Stafford Festival Shakespeare 2018 will be The Bard’s horrific tragedy,Macbeth.

Following the critically-acclaimed, award-winning production of The Tempest, Stafford Festival Shakespeare will return to the atmospheric surroundings of Stafford Castle next year and transport audiences to a fictional medieval Scotland where diabolical dark deeds wreak havoc across the land.

Something wicked this way comes.

As the warrior general Macbeth revels in his victory over the Lords rebellious to King Duncan’s Crown, he is greeted by three weird sisters who through some devilish witchcraft prophesise his own ascent to the seat of Scottish power…

Glimpsing this future foretold, Macbeth and his Lady wife plot a murderous scheme to realise their naked ambitions and secure a royal legacy.

But “blood will have blood” and soon Scotland is plunged back into open rebellion as the toll of dark deeds begin to weigh heavy on the new King and Queen. As his enemies circle, Macbeth realises the tragic futility of his actions before he is eventually slain and order returned to Scotland once more.

A medieval Scottish Macbeth - deliciously amoral, devilishly dark.

Inspired by today’s cultural thirst for supernatural and historical fiction genres (e.g. Game of Thrones, The Tudors, Wolf Hall and the Harry Potter series), Stafford Festival Shakespeare 2018 will offer audiences a sensual, vital, highly visual and visceral production with a vibrant score. A supernatural feast for the senses, #Macbeth2018 will examine naked ambition, deception, jealousy and the worst traits of humankind – in a Scotland rich with warriors, witchcraft and diabolical dark deeds.

Originally set in the ‘11th Century’, Macbeth lends itself perfectly to the backdrop of Stafford Castle, and the site grounds will provide a truly unique opportunity for theatre goers to experience the essence of the text. There has been a rich history at the site of Stafford Castle since 913, and its changing fortunes during the Saxon and Medieval periods echo the tumultuous political history of Shakespeare’s medieval Scotland.

Often on the GCSE syllabus in England, the play will be performed in its entirety (as one of Shakespeare’s shortest plays - James I preferring brevity on his theatre trips), making it ideal for English and Drama students.

Joining the critically-acclaimed creative team of Director Clare Prenton and Music Director Craig Adams for next year’s production will be Stafford Festival Shakespeare debutant, Production Designer Simon Kenny.

Producer Derrick Gask says:
“I’m incredibly excited about next year’s production. It’s been a few years since the last time we performed the play up at the castle back in 2003, and following the feedback from audiences of The Tempest this summer about revisiting the tragic genre, myself and the rest of the creative team felt that Macbeth was the perfect choice for 2018.

“What a treat we have in store for our audiences next year! One The Bard’s most iconic, atmospheric plays performed in the medieval surroundings of the Stafford Castle.”

Macbeth will open on Thursday 28th June and run until Saturday 14th July 2018 at Stafford Castle. Established in 1991, Stafford Festival Shakespeare has fast become one of Europe's largest open air Shakespeare productions.

Tickets will be available from Tuesday 31st October at 9.30am and start from just £14.

Early Bird Tickets are available until January 31st 2018. The early bird offer saves £3 per ticket on selected performances.

Full information can be obtained from the box office on 01785 619080 or by visiting the new website, www.staffordfestivalshakespeare.com

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Stafford Gatehouse Theatre
Eastgate Street, Stafford, ST16 2LT

Box Office: 01785 619080
Email: gatehouse@staffordbc.gov.uk

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