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Shakespeare's Macbeth coming to Ludlow Castle for Fringe Festival

Ludlow Castle's historic inner bailey will be used to provide the dramatic backdrop for a Shakespeare play at the weekend.

Getting set for The Tragedy of Macbeth at Ludlow Castle are groundsman Nigel Jones with Jess Laurie and Anita Bigsby, from Ludlow Fringe Festival
Getting set for The Tragedy of Macbeth at Ludlow Castle are groundsman Nigel Jones with Jess Laurie and Anita Bigsby, from Ludlow Fringe Festival

It will be the first time for several years that the inner sanctum of Ludlow Castle will be used, from Saturday, for a week-long outdoor run of The Tragedy of Macbeth - a story of murder, ambition, guilt and paranoia.

With the historic setting, enhanced atmosphere and stripped back set, theatre company Flabbergast is hoping to make an impact as part of Ludlow Fringe Festival.

The fringe will see performances of comedy, theatre, music, dance and more, across the town for three weeks.

Henry Maynard, artistic director of Flabbergast Theatre, who also plays Macbeth in the performance, said: “We are really excited to perform The Tragedy of Macbeth in the castle.

“It is a beautiful setting and it will really add to the audience’s experience, they will find it really exciting too.

“We’ve performed in Ludlow before and it’s a lot of fun, it is a beautiful town and Shropshire is just gorgeous.

“There is a lot of hard work that goes into Ludlow Fringe Festival and it is going from strength to strength, we would love to make it a fixture in our diary and come back each year.”

Flabbergast is an East Anglia-based production company which will kick off its summer tour in Ludlow, taking it to Edinburgh Fringe Festival in August.

Mr Maynard, who has previously performed in War Horse and is set to perform in Harry Potter: The Cursed Child on the West End later this year, set up the award-winning company in 2012.

It has been developing The Tragedy of Macbeth for a number of years and it received several five-star reviews on its first tour last year.

Flabbergast bring aspects of clown, mask, and physical theatre to the bard’s original text, combining it with exhilarating live music.

The performances at Ludlow Castle will take place on Saturday and Sunday, then next week on June 23, 24 and 25 at 7.30pm.

Audience members need to take chairs and can have a picnic in the castle grounds from 6pm.

Anita Bigsby, director of Ludlow Fringe Festival, said: “We’ve had several Shakespeare productions in Ludlow Castle over the past 10 years but they have always been in the outer bailey, so this is a really exciting move for us.

“With the beautiful and atmospheric surrounds of the Castle’s ruined architecture, there really couldn’t be a more perfect place to have Macbeth, it is going to echo beautifully across the walls and deliver an astounding and powerful performance.

“This is just one of the great acts which will kick off Ludlow Fringe Festival this weekend - alongside the carnival and Alistair McGowan - and we have a host of exciting and interesting events at various locations across the town until July 10.

“Tickets are selling well and interest in the Fringe has been great this year. There is still time to buy tickets, catch a show and to be part of this wonderful community event that everyone is talking about.”

To buy tickets for Macbeth or see the full programme of events and buy tickets for any performance visit ludlowfringe.com

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