The Petersfield Shakespeare Festival is a highly-regarded and popular outdoor theatre festival which takes place in the beautiful grounds of Bedales School, in the heart of the South Downs National Park.
The stunning courtyard grounds, which are elegantly tented for the Festival, provide the perfect space for summer evening entertainment. Audience members are encouraged to bring a picnic and soak up the atmosphere prior to the performance.
Our collaborative team brings a wealth of diverse experience in professional theatre. Between them they have worked extensively over the country, including Chichester Festival Theatre, The Old Vic, The Almeida, Hull Truck, Glyndebourne, on national tours and in the West End. They all relish the challenges of outdoor theatre and delight in the opportunities which this extraordinary space offers.
Clare Glancy and Lucy Hollis,
Artistic Director 2020
Writer in Residence
Over the past seven years, the festival has seen Shakespeare’s best loved plays brought to life by our professional company in creative and imaginative ways:
2019 The Comedy of Errors, Hamlet and Abyss
2018 Henry V and The Taming of the Shrew
2017 As You Like It and Double Will – Shakespeare’s Lost Women and Buried Moon
2016 The Tempest
2014 The Merry Wives of Windsor and Macbeth
2013 A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Romeo and Juliet
2012 Much Ado About Nothing and Twelfth Night
The Festival is also committed to producing new work inspired by Shakespeare, in order to extend his reach to modern audiences and provide a platform for young playwrights. These have included a contemporary exploration of the Caliban/Miranda story – Buried Moon and 2018’s reworking of The Taming of the Shrew. This year we are garnering new talent from the community with our Shake It Up writing competition.
To view our previous productions in more detail, please visit our Past Shows page.
The Petersfield Shakespeare Festival’s aim is to create innovative and entertaining performances incorporating music, movement and design, in open-air and conventional theatre spaces. We aim to attract diverse audiences from all ages and sectors of the local population and further afield.
◯ Artistic Excellence
We are a dedicated and vigorous ensemble company, staging productions of the highest quality where performers excel and audiences are challenged. We inspire creativity, thought and engagement in company members and audiences alike.
We endeavour to identify and develop new creative partnerships with other professional arts practitioners and local businesses.
We are a theatre company which draws on local talent and professional skills across the age groups creating a festival that is relevant to contemporary society and that reflects the concerns and hopes of our audiences.
We seek to enhance the cultural landscape of the local area and provide access to the performing arts in an open-air, rural setting in the heart of the South Downs National Park.
We are committed to treating everyone with respect, without discrimination and operate a policy of equal opportunity throughout the company.
We provide excellent opportunities for education and training for performing arts professionals (directors, actors, technicians, designers) early in their careers. In partnership with local schools, we introduce students from Key Stage 1 and up to Shakespeare’s world through engagement in performances and workshops.
◯ Financial Responsibility
We present work to the highest standards achievable at the most affordable ticket prices. We aim to maintain and develop our affiliations with local businesses, sponsors, and all other supporters of the festival.
We commission new writing inspired by Shakespeare’s works in order to extend his reach to modern audiences and provide a platform for young playwrights.
We embrace all those who work with us and work hard to ensure that they are welcomed, supported, and challenged to do their best work. We value physical safety and a supportive and productive work environment.