THE actor playing the title role in the Garden Players’ forthcoming production of Henry IV Part 1 says
THE actor playing the title role in the Garden Players’ forthcoming production of Henry IV Part 1 says he is looking forward to breaking one of the most time-honoured of showbiz — never work with children or animals.
Steve McAdam, who also chairs the Garden Players, was speaking as the group gears up to perform Shakespeare’s history play at Stubbings House near Maidenhead.
The four-night run — which starts on Wednesday, June 17 — will see armoured horse riders lending some Game of Thrones-style grit to proceedings.
Mr McAdam said: “Following meetings with the jousting company Warhorse, we will have two horses and riders in full regalia parading around Stubbings before the play and during the interval — and making an appearance in the play.”
Believed to have been written in 1597, Henry IV Part 1 is classed as a history play but it is also rich in comedy and introduces one of Shakespeare’s greatest comic creations, Falstaff, whose exploits with the King’s son Hal and their raucous companions in the seedy dens of Eastcheap form a key part of the action.
Mr McAdam added: “Our Falstaff is Graham Weeks, who has been delighting audiences throughout the Thames Valley for the past 30 years with his comic turns in parts ranging from Fagin in Oliver at the Wycombe Swan to Malvolio in Twelfth Night.”
While the play is being performed in the open air, the audience will be under cover on raised seating, which greatly improved comfort and visibility during last year’s production of The Merchant of Venice.
All proceeds from this year’s production will go to the charities Child Bereavement UK and SportsAble.
Mr McAdam said: “Since our inaugural 2009 production of Much Ado About Nothing, we have raised in excess of £63,000 for our charities from six productions — all of which virtually sold out several weeks prior to opening night. Our aims are to stage a high quality production while maximising our charitable donations.
“This will be one of the major local arts events in the area this summer and we look forward to welcoming you and hope you will be able to enjoy a picnic before the play on a warm evening in the superb grounds of Stubbings House.”
Tickets for Henry IV Part 1 are £18 (£15 concessions). To book, call Judith Timewell on 01628 522854 or visit the Garden Players’ website at www.thegardenplayersweb.co.uk