Canterbury has long been associated with one of England’s finest literary talents. We rightly celebrate the fact that the characters from Geoffrey Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales finish their pilgrimage here in the city.
But we believe that there is room to celebrate another of England's literary sons here in the city. Writing some two hundred years after Chaucer, William Shakespeare produced work which expresses the human condition in the most profound way. His plays still speak to us four hundred years after his death.
This leaves us with the challenge of where to stage our plays. Looking around the city, we are constantly reminded of Canterbury’s literary and ecclesiastical connections, but there is also a great deal of natural beauty here. Ours is a city full of green spaces as well as history.
Taking these factors together, it seems right to honour both the bard and the beauty of our city, by staging some of his works outside in the open air. This vision is the driving force behind the Canterbury Shakespeare Festival, which will continue this year in July and August after the huge success of our two shows last year Romeo & Juliet and A Midsummer Night's Dream. In fact, last year was so successful that this year we have doubled the number of productions that will be produced.
Come and join us as we celebrate Shakespeare in the open spaces of our city this summer.
Benjamin J Chamberlain
Canterbury Shakespeare Festival
Canterbury Arts Council
Canterbury Shakespeare Festival doesn’t just offer a summer programme of high quality performances. We are also committed to providing a range of other opportunities, through which the community can get involved with and learn about ours and the Bard’s work. We believe that in doing so; we can help foster a shared love of and enthusiasm for one of the most historically significant, and profoundly talented literary figures to emerge from this part of the world in the last four (just over, in fact) centuries. His influence doesn’t stop just south of the Thames!
Although our previous efforts have mostly been in school outreach, we are eager to work with a number of community partners to create exciting events in and around Canterbury. If you would like to know more, or discuss the possibility of working with us, please get in touch at email@example.com and we’ll see what we can do.
Please note, you will have to bring proof of eligibility with you to the performances. Concession tickets are available to those under 18 years of age, students, senior citizens, unemployed and those who are registered disabled.
There is no reserved seating available for any of the Festival’s performances. There will be a limited number of chairs at each venue, made available on a first come, first served basis. If you or one of your party has particular need of a chair, please email ahead or let one of the stewards know as soon as you arrive.
We invite audiences to bring their own blankets and picnic/camping chairs, in addition to food and drink to enjoy throughout the performances, in order to fully take advantage of the alfresco theatre experience. Please remember to dispose of any rubbish responsibly, and bring appropriate clothing for an outdoor event.
Due to the outdoor nature of the festival we advise audience to bring umbrellas, raincoats, bottled water and sun cream. We often at the mercy of the weather so we advise everyone to come prepared.
Wet Weather Policy:
Our current policy is that if it is gently raining from the start of the show or during we will continue the performance. If the rain becomes to strong then we shall cancel the performance. We will offer audience members tickets to another production of the same piece or to another production at a later date. If this is not suitable a refund can be offer to audience members but only available in cash.
We kindly request that no reviews be written or published without the Festival's consent. This is in respect of the commitment and hard work of all those involved in the Festival, which is entirely voluntary.