Monday, 15 August 2022

Bard's tale launches biennialfestival

WARGRAVE Festival began on Wednesday last week with the traditional performance of Shakespeare on the Green.

Members of Wargrave Theatre Workshop staged The Merchant of Venice which ran nightly until Saturday.

It starred John Turner as Antonio, Graham Wheal as Bassanio and Emmajane Hughes as Portia.

The production was directed by Joe Haynes, who also played Shylock, while festival chairman Graham Howe portrayed the Prince of Morocco.

The junior section also performed A Spoonful of Sugar, an adaptation of Mary Poppins, from Thursday to Saturday.

Other events over the weekend included a folk night at the Woodclyffe Hall in High Street on Saturday and an open day at Wargrave Boating Club off Watermans Way on Sunday.

There was also a brass concert by the Bracknell and Wokingham Community Band in Mill Green later that day in an event called “Brass on the Grass”.

It was held in the garden of Verna Houghton’s home in Station Road with the band playing music which included songs from Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, Coldplay and musical Jesus Christ Superstar.

The three-week biennial festival comprises 47 events, including a quiz night, dancing competition and talent show, all taking place at different venues around the village.

This year’s festival has an “out of this world” theme with related events and children are encouraged to dress up as aliens and science fiction characters.

Mr Howe said: “We are doing very well and the weather looks as though it should hold up quite nicely.

“Shakespeare was completely sold out for three nights and almost sold out on Wednesday. On a couple of nights it was slightly wet but that didn’t stop us, the show carried on.

“I loved it, it’s the first time I’ve been on stage in my own right since I was 15 years old. It was a comedic role and I got a few laughs.”

He added: “Most of the ticketed events are now sold out but we could do with more through the door for things like the race night next Wednesday, which we say would be a good Father’s Day present.”

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