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Romford Summer Theatre set to return with the Bard’s The Winter’s Tale

PUBLISHED: 10:02 25 May 2012

Romford Summer Theatre are due to perform The Winter's Tale this year  The photo shows Hermione (Victoria Abery) pleading with her husband, but Leontes (Simon Drake) refuses to believe her innocence

Romford Summer Theatre are due to perform The Winter's Tale this year The photo shows Hermione (Victoria Abery) pleading with her husband, but Leontes (Simon Drake) refuses to believe her innocence

Archant

»With spring almost over, drama enthusiasts can start looking forward to Romford Summer Theatre.

The director of this year’s production, Wendi Sheard said: “It’s a highlight of the summer and this year is extra special because last year the group celebrated its golden anniversary.”

She added: “It’s a big deal for people.

Picnics

“It means tradition. They sit out in their chairs and bring their picnics along with them and it is the closest way to how Shakespeare would have done it.”

This year is no exception – the group will be performing The Winter’s Tale at the Rockery in Raphael Park from Thursday, June 21, to Saturday, June 24, and then from Thursday, June 28, to Saturday, June 30.

Spanning a period of 16 years, the play opens in the court of King Leontes, who is entertaining his close friend, King Polixenes.

Having been unable to persuade Polixenes to stay on as his guest for longer, Leontes asks his beautiful wife, Hermione, if she can try to win him round to the idea.

However, when she succeeds where he has failed, Leontes begins to suspect there may be something going on between his wife and his best friend.

Regulars should be warned not to expect any modern gimmicks in this year’s production.

Strike a chord

Wendi stressed: “I am not doing any modern things like setting it in the Eighties or in the Wild West – it’s going to be back to basics.”

One thing you can be sure of is that the show will strike a chord with its audiences.

“The theme is very modern,” said Wendi. “It’s all to do with relationships and how people react to each other and I think people will be able to relate to it.”

Formed in 1962, Romford Summer Theatre stages outdoor productions of William Shakespeare’s works each summer.

Wendi, who is best known as a member of The Ad Hoc Players, will be making her directing debut with the group this year.

She said: “I feel really proud to be part of something that has been going longer than I have been alive.

“It has such a big following and when everyone gets together, it’s like all stars.”

n Tickets are £10 and £8 concessions from www.romfordsummertheatre.com or on the door.

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