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Shakespeare students set for showcase

By Burton Mail  |  Posted: August 15, 2014

By Rob Smyth

  • SHOWCASE . . . Katherine Newbury and Harry Kingscott

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PEOPLE across Burton and South Derbyshire will soon be able to enjoy some free Shakespearean fun.

Self funded student company the New Kings Players are heading to the area to put on a 'relaxing, outdoor, family friendly week of drama and daftness' with a showcase of Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing.

During the last week of August, the group will heading to Tutbury Castle and Melbourne Hall among a raft of other sites across the area including Kedleston Hall and Cromford Mill.

A spokesman for the group said: "Come along in the last week of August to one of the stunning venues in Derbyshire and Staffordshire for a memorable afternoon of family fun as they take you all back to sunny Georgian Italy.

"There will be revenge, passion, mistaken identity and maybe even a wedding.

"We are a drama group, set up in June 2011 by students Katherine Newbury and Harry Kingscott, ex-members of Derby LIVE Youth Theatre and The Ecclesbourne School where they met aged 11.

"When they both finished school they wanted to get young people involved in drama and create an understanding and joy of Shakespeare's work and give them free opportunities to perform.

"Now, four years and four productions later, the company is still going strong.

"Harry recently graduated with a BA (hons) in drama from the University of Exeter and Katherine is in her final year of costume with performance design at The Arts University, in Bournemouth.

"The production will take place at some amazing venues this year, all funded by donations from last year's production, The Comedy of Errors.

"The show will premiere at Cromford Mill, in Matlock, on Bank Holiday Monday.

"Then on Wednesday, August 27 they will be appearing in the gorgeous gardens at Hopton Hall near Carsington Water, followed by the stately castle ruins at Tutbury Castle on Thursday 28 and the lovely Melbourne Hall Gardens on Friday 29.

"The final performances will take place at Kedleston Hall in the gardens on Saturday, August 30 and Sunday, August 31.

"Producer Katherine and director Harry are delighted with the fantastic array of venues for this year's show, such a contrast to their humble beginnings of As You Like It, for one day only, outside Katherine's house in Darley Park in 2011.

"The aim was to create a group that is run by students, for students and focuses on free, family friendly, fun productions.

"We are unique as we keep the experience as low cost as possible for everyone - so there is no fee to join the group, all performances are free and all costumes and props are made from scratch or are borrowed from professional companies.

"We are proud to have nurtured budding Derbyshire talent with past and present cast members coming from schools across Derbyshire and who are now currently training at such prestigious conservatoires as RADA, Central School of Speech and Drama, Rose Bruford, East 15, Redroofs Theatre School and Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama.

"Where else can you find a fun drama company, that's totally free but also puts on high-standard productions?

"Bring your friends, family and everyone else along with a picnic, a mat and chairs to our exciting venues this August.

"Performances will begin at 2:30pm! All you'll need is something to sit on."

Admissions is free, although a venue entrance charge may apply.

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