Betrayal, revenge, magic and romance intertwine in one of Shakespeare’s best-loved works at Huntingdon Hall this September!
The Worcester Repertory Company usually tread the boards at The Swan Theatre, Worcester. There’s change afoot however, as this September they are picking up their costumes and heading to the city centre’s Huntingdon Hall for the very first time for what promises to be a unique staging of one of Shakespeare’s last plays, The Tempest.
Huntingdon Hall, located in Crowngate Shopping Centre, was built in 1773 and originally served Worcester as a Methodist Chapel. In the early 1960s the building was deconsecrated and subsequently fell into disrepair, only to be restored twenty years later. This Grade II* listed building has a rather different purpose now, hosting live music, comedy and spoken word. For the first time ever in its history, Huntingdon Hall will be adapted to host a theatrical production this autumn.
Ben Humphrey, acting Artistic Director of the Worcester Repertory Company and director of The Tempest, said “I think that once people see a venue as one thing it is difficult to get out of that habit. There’s been a lack of imagination when it comes to the Huntingdon Hall and the truth of the matter is that it is one of the most fabulous spaces that Worcestershire has to offer. This production will be unlike anything that anyone has seen there before. You can’t see this anywhere else. It’s not on tour and it’s not going to be transferred. That’s the brilliant thing about regional theatre…it is unique.”
Ben will be joined by some familiar Rep faces for this production, despite the change of venue. Worcester Rep favourite Jonathan Darby will be playing the stormy Duke of Milan, Prospero who has been shipwrecked on an island along with his daughter, Miranda, played by Worcester Rep newcomer Hannah Whitehouse. Hannah trained at Academy Theatre Arts and went on to give a stirling performance in the Young Rep’s chilling production of Macbeth last year, which paved the way for her into professional productions such as this one. Heidi Gowthorpe, who starred in last year’s Swan Theatre pantomime, Maid Marian and the Merry Men and Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night in Worcester Cathedral, will also be joining them on stage as spirit Ariel in the production.
With only spirits such as Ariel and other creatures of the island for company, Prospero and Miranda have made a life for themselves amongst the magic and simplicity of their surroundings. However, when a ship passing by the island is wrecked during a spectacular and mystical storm, Prospero leaps on the opportunity to settle old scores and use his magic to weave a web of intrigue, chaos, vengeance and hilarity, in a story that will delight and entertain audiences both young and old alike.
Don't miss the opportunity to see this truly unique staging of Shakespeare's classic masterpiece in one of Worcester's most spectacular venues.