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Gullands? Shakespeare connection

Greyfriars in Leicester has never had it so good.  This once humble concrete car park is now forever lodged in our minds as the location where the remains of England’s notorious King Richard III were discovered less than seven months ago.

This amazing discovery has rekindled the public’s imagination about the last Plantagenet King, and what role he played in our country’s history.  No doubt too has it sparked a renewed enthusiasm for Shakespeare’s eponymous play amongst the professional theatre community, nationally and internationally.

This has certainly been the case for Kent-based Changeling Theatre, who will be bringing their unique version of the play to stunning outdoor locations across Kent this Summer.

However, as Changeling Theatre’s founder and artistic director Rob Forknall explains, the topical nature of their choice of play was by luck rather than judgment:

“I’ve wanted to do Richard III for years, it’s by far my favourite Shakespeare. But our decision to tour it this year was made before the real King’s remains were discovered in Leicester last August."

“Every year we ask our audiences to choose which Shakespeare they would like us to stage the following Summer. Clearly our audiences were ready for some blood and villainy, as the majority chose Richard.”

Gullands has had a long and happy association with Changeling Theatre, founded by Rob Forknall in 1997 to produce high quality, entertaining theatre for community audiences across South East England. 

Gullands’ Chairman, Blair Gulland, has sat as a Trustee of Changeling Theatre since its inception, and over the years has enjoyed numerous Shakespeare tours from Macbeth to The Merchant of Venice to last year’s As You Like It.

Blair said: “I’m very happy to be associated with this dynamic company.  Changeling Theatre brings something unique and special to Kent’s audiences in unusual and unexpected locations, and I am very proud of the part I play as a Trustee in making that happen. I’m really looking forward to enjoying Richard III this summer.”

Shakespeare’s Richard III is famous for its Machiavellian and deformed protagonist whom everyone loves to hate.  It is a dark, witty and entertaining tale of ruthless ambition, which centres around the rise and fall of the jealous and ambitious Richard, from his beginnings as the hated younger brother of Edward IV to his crowning as King of England, sharply followed by his ultimate demise on the battlefield of Bosworth.

Set in a gothic world of murder, plots and intrigue, Changeling Theatre’s Richard III will be playing across Kent in July and August this year, in venues as diverse as Maidstone United’s football ground, Margate seafront and Biddenden Vineyard, to the grandeur of historic settings such as Dover Castle, Eastwell Manor and Boughton Monchelsea Place.

Changeling Theatre’s production will feature a brilliant ensemble cast, original music and the company’s renowned directorial twist.  It promises to be an experience not to be forgotten!

For details of dates and venues visit Changeling’s and follow them on Twitter: @changelingthe