Shakespeare festival back in Cambridge

The Cambridge Shakespeare Festival is back in the city. Picture: CSF

The Cambridge Shakespeare Festival is back in the city. Picture: CSF - Credit: Archant

There is still a month to catch some top-notch drama in the open air at the Cambridge Shakespeare Festival.

Established in 1988, the theatrical extravaganza takes gardens of the colleges of the University of Cambridge – a beautiful setting for the staging of Shakespeare’s plays.

The event has become a significant cultural event in Cambridge and the region, and can expect to attract upwards of 25,000 visitors for the productions which run during the eight weeks of the Festival.

And because the city attracts so many tourists at this time of year, the festival has acquired a national and international dimension, with many visitors

returning to Cambridge again and again.

You can see performances of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Taming of the Shrew, The Merchant of Venice and Cymbeline final performances are tomorrow, and Macbeth, The Comedy of Errors, Pericles and Twelfth Night go on until mid-to-late August.

A spokesman said: “An evening at the Cambridge Shakespeare Festival is a unique experience.

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“Prior to the performance, members of the audience can picnic in this idyllic setting, before sitting back to enjoy an evening of dynamic and highly visual theatre. The festival prides itself on an artistic policy which strips away unnecessary theatrical artifice and gimmickry, and the company exists to provide access for all to these marvellous works without assuming any prior knowledge of the author or the play in question.

“The productions themselves are vivid and spectacular, and are performed in full period costume with live Elizabethan music. Imperceptibly the evening passes from a glorious summer evening to dusk and then to night. The moon rises to provide additional lighting in a way that no theatre could match. Following the performance the audiences from each venue return to the heart of Cambridge and its many bars and restaurants to end a perfect evening.”

For more information on the schedule of performances, go to Tickets cost £17 or £13 for concessions, and are available to purchase online.

If you fancy taking in a number of shows, season tickets are available. You could get a CSF Gold Card, where six performances are £90 for adults or £65 for concessions. There’s also a CSF silver card, where three performances for £45 for adults or £32 for concessions.