Shakespeare’s Tempest should go down a storm at the Horsham Festival

Students rehearse for The Tempest
Students rehearse for The Tempest

The Tempest aims to transport Horsham audiences to Prospero’s magical island on Saturday, July 15 (6.30pm).

Directed and abridged for the Horsham Festival by Clare Packham, this all-student production of the Shakespeare play will be staged in the Human Nature Garden in Horsham Park.

The evening begins with a performance by soloists from the String Academy, which brings together many of the most gifted string players from Sussex Schools, followed by The Tempest at 7.15pm.

Clare, 18, who has just completed her A-level studies at Collyer’s College, Horsham, was asked if she would like to prepare a production for the festival, after artistic director Andrew Bernardi saw a project she was involved in for Act for Change.

Clare said: “I suggested The Tempest as for me it’s a play about humanity and outsiders, themes, which feel very relevant today.

“The play is perfect for the Human Nature Garden due to its outside settings and mystical atmosphere.

“The cast has enjoyed tackling Shakespeare. It’s been a challenge abridging it to an hour.

“It’s also a great choice as my grandfather directed it many years ago and it still proves to be his favourite.”

Clare and fellow Collyer’s student Nick Hoad have composed the music for the performance, and members of the cast will also be providing some of the authentic storm sound effects.

Clare, who hopes to study drama at Bristol University in the autumn, continued: “We started rehearsing before Easter but exams have made scheduling a bit of a challenge, but we have really enjoyed working together as an ensemble.

“Now the exams are over everyone has enjoyed the dress rehearsals and are really looking forward to the performance.”

The show, which is suitable for families, is free but donations to the National Youth Arts Trust charity would be very welcome.

Clare said: “The National Youth Arts Trust is a charity dedicated to providing young people with opportunities in the performing arts.

“We are so lucky to have a local festival to perform in. We chose this charity to ensure young people have these opportunities nationally.”

The performance will conclude by 8.30pm and members of the audience are welcome to bring chairs and picnic blankets.

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