The play’s not the only thing at St Albans Shakespeare Festival

As You Like It

As You Like It - Credit: Archant

All’s Well that Ends Well sums up the success of the three-month long St Albans Shakespeare Festival which has now concluded.

As You Like It

As You Like It - Credit: Archant

Organised by St Albans theatre company OVO, it was based mainly at the Maltings Arts Theatre but also at other locations including the Abbey Theatre, St Saviour’s Church, the Roman Theatre of Verulamium and the streets of the city.

Shows ranged from theatre to poetry readings, choral singing, hip-hop, comedy, folk music and jazz - performed by local and internationally renowned artists including Jacqui Dankworth with Shakespeare and All That Jazz and Propeller Theatre Company with Pocket Dream.

In total there were 15 different events over 35 performances, watched by a total of over 3,000 people.

OVO’s aim was to cover all the Bard’s works in one way or another and their city pageant on Shakespeare’s birthday, April 23, combined with a ‘Rarely Performed’ evening the following week, meant that was all but achieved.


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Festival director David Widdowson said: “I think we might have missed out Cymbeline and Coriolanus but we are delighted to have had so much support and positive response to our festival programme. The quality and variety of performers has been outstanding.”

OVO’s artistic director, Adam Nichols, added: “The St Albans Shakespeare Festival has further enhanced the reputation of the city as a centre of artistic excellence – regionally, nationally and further afield.”

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To prove the point OVO has just returned from its week-long residency at the Minack open air theatre in Cornwall performing its acclaimed production of As You Like It

first played to over 4,200 people at the Roman Theatre of Verulamium last month.

The production broke the Minack’s previous audience record for the second week of June by some distance and OVO has been invited back to perform there again in a couple of years time.

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