New press release for The Malvern Shakespeare Folio 400 Festival - Celebrating 400 years of Shakespeare's First Folio - Eight days of fun-and-fact-packed festivities! From the 5th - 12th of November 2023 at the Coach House Theatre in Malvern.
Rehearsals at the Coach House Theatre in Great Malvern for the play Nay, Remember Me!, which forms the centrepiece of the Malvern Shakespeare Folio 400 Festival, are nearing completion. The director and the Company Manager of the Malvern Theatre Players (MTP), Chris Bassett, has come up with some new ideas for this special 400th-anniversary production of the play. The Ghost of Shakespeare will be appearing offstage - as he lounges about in heaven - on a video hookup. Shakespeare, played by Andrew Howie, will also be sporting a made-to-measure wig made by the wig makers who make wigs for the Royal Shakespeare Company - Leedham Wigs. The wig is based on the -famous image of William Shakespeare taken from the Droeshout Engraving that was first published in the First Folio.
Chris Bassett said - "I am excited about the Festival because we have some new and well-known actors in the production of Nay, Remember Me! and I am especially proud of how so many people have come together to make it an 8-day event. I am delighted with the costumes by Britt Needham and the make-up and hair by Max Van De Bank and Jane Tudge. I've been sitting in the rehearsals of the Melting Pot Theatre productions of extracts from Hamlet and Macbeth, which will be performed on the 9th and 10th of November, and these are also going to be terrific."
Amelia Marriette is the Coach House Theatre's adviser on all things Shakespearean and the MTP's playwright on attachment – she has been working with the MTP since 2005. Amelia Marriette grew up in Malvern but now lives in Austria, but she will be flying over to offer her expertise and appear in a cameo role in her own play Nay, Remember Me! The play was first performed at the Other Place Theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon as part of the Royal Shakespeare Company's Fringe Festival.
Nay, Remember Me! tells the true story of the making of the First Folio, but it's also a fun piece - Shakespeare appears as a ghost, there is cross-dressing, one of Will's plays is destroyed live on stage, there is a death, babies are born, someone goes blind, and the wives get very upset! The play also pops over the Atlantic to meet Folger, the oil baron who spent a fortune on collecting First Folios and spent millions of dollars setting up the Folger Library. The action occasionally takes a peep at modern-day Stratford-upon-Avon to marvel at Shakespeare's legacy, just to keep the audience on their toes!
The Ghost of William Shakespeare is appearing in Great Malvern!
The Ghost of William Shakespeare will be doing a bit of lighthearted haunting from the 7th to the 11th of November. "I am a bit tired", said Will Shakespeare, " I have been on a massive book tour - 2023 has been an epic year for me - but I just had to pop in and see my old chums Heminges and Condell at the Coach House Theatre in Malvern and say ta very much for printing all my plays in a big Folio. I might give that apprentice Leason a whack, though - for destroying my play Love's Labour's Won - forsooth!"
William Shakespeare is happy to be getting attention and top-star reviews worldwide even after over 400 years in the business.
Three of the main characters that "Gave us Shakespeare" - John Heminges (who was born in Droitwich), played by Nigel Hales; John Leason, played by Gill Young; and Henry Condell, played by Steve Burford. In the play, Leason, the hopeless apprentice, destroys one of Shakespeare's plays.
Anne Hathaway, Shakespeare's wife, played by Dianne Lloyd and Rebecca Heminges, played by Kelly Jones - Rebecca Hemiges is a bit upset about the all-consuming First Folio project.
The play opens with an auction of the sale of one of the remaining copies of the 750 copies of the First Folio printed in 1623 – a single copy can sell for upwards of 6 million dollars today.
As well as the production of Nay, Remember Me! there are many other events to enjoy. All the tickets are sold out for Professor Judith Buchanan, Master of St Peter's College, Oxford, fascinating talk [S]carce a blot in his papers: Celebrating 400 years of the 1623 Shakespeare Folio" on 8th November - the actual day of the 400th anniversary, but no one need be disappointed we have other talks and there are still some tickets available.
The playwright, Amelia Marriette, will present two of her most popular Shakespeare lectures during the Malvern Shakespeare Folio 400 Festival. "Shakespeare and the Authorship Controversy." Did that man from Stratford-upon-Avon really write the plays? Yes! Amelia Marriette will explain all (9th November) And "Shakespeare Today" on the 10th of November – a fascinating talk describing how Shakespeare has impacted our daily lives – everything from starlings in the US to why we are in love with the skull as a motif.
Amelia is "thrilled to be involved with the Festival because the 400th anniversary of the publishing of the First Folio is a world event – from Australia to Zambia - celebrations have been taking place all year, but Malvern is one of the few places where you can come and enjoy the events around the exact time – November – that the Folio was published in 1623!"
In addition to the other exciting events, Melting Pot Theatre will perform after Amelia's two talks - extracts from Hamlet and Macbeth.
There will be two Shakespeare on Film Sundays on November 5th and 12th. On the 5th of November, Leena Batchelor of the newly opened Script Haven Ltd. based in Worcester will have a book sale - a chance to buy books handpicked to coincide with the Festival. On the 8th of November and the 11th of November, the Malvern Book Cooperative will also be selling their specially chosen books.
There will be a FREE Exhibition in the Jackson Gallery featuring works on paper relating to the First Folio of Shakespeare's Plays.
It will be a big event with something for everyone - and the Malvern Shakespeare Folio 400 Festival is proud to be part of the world celebrations for this most important anniversary of the publishing of Shakespeare's First Folio.
You can even turn your trip to Malvern into a mini break because the Foley Arms Hotel in Malvern has very kindly agreed to offer all those who have booked to see any event or performance a 15% discount on any room.
Booking is now open. We have kept the prices as low as possible - from £10.00 to £16.00, including all booking fees. The full programme of events is now on the website MALVERN SHAKESPEARE FOLIO 400 FESTIVAL - Malvern Theatres (malvern-theatres.co.uk) or by phone at 01684 892277.
For interviews or more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org
Or call 43 664 1364677 / 00 43 4350 20096 (landline).
Or contact Chris Bassett at the Coach House Theatre on 01684 569011.
Nay, Remember Me! is published by Lazy Bee Scripts