Raphael Prk Fountain 3wcopyright

The annual Shakespeare in the Park is becoming a race to see how many broken bones make a sonnet.

Much ado posterCast members including the director turn up at rehearsals swathed in bandages after a series of falls and one even suffered while filling the car with petrol.

Don’t ask!

But being a resourceful lot the production of Much Ado about Nothing, is going ahead with seven performances beginning on June 16 accompanied with various NHS mobility aids.

Much ado is one of the Bard’s funniest plays, but not even he encountered the challenging assault course experienced by some of the cast.

Bedfords at dusk wThe score is two at the moment so nervous glances to see who is next abound as well as reading from cover to cover of the Health and Safety manual.

Despite the tumbles, all is in the best traditions of the show must go on, even with an assortment of Zimmer frames and wheelchairs with the odd pair of walking crutches propping up the bushes Just in case.

Swan in the middleDirector, June Fitzgerald had become quite accomplished at waving her limb encased in more bandages than carried by a fleet of LAS finest emergency vehicles, and trials are going on with propelled wheelchair for Lorraine Ely, who is playing the volatile mum,  Leonata. She is the arm waving protector of her beloved daughter, Hero, played by El Burgess.

There has been talk of camouflaging the volunteer extra who is charged with pushing the chair while disguised as an oak sapling.

Lorraine Ely and Paul Sparrowham

Lorraine Ely and Paul Sparrowham

As for the play, that is going well, with Lindsay Hollingsworth and Paul Sparrowham as the war torn couple, Benedict and Beatrice, doing battle even before marriage in the best EastEnders style, with the rest  of us diving for cover during the more interesting bouts.

Now in its 54th year, Romford Summer Theatre traditionally performs a Shakespearean comedy annually at the Rockery in Raphael Park, Main Road, Romford.

The setting is perfect for the excitement, fun and literary excellence of his works.

Each year the lighting team bathe the giant Oak trees and rockery in an explosion of colours, creating theatre under the stars and a vision not easily forgotten once seen. 

Lindsey Hollingworth, Lorraine Ely and El Burgess

Lindsey Hollingworth, Lorraine Ely and El Burgess

All the players are amateur but drawn from the many drama societies that give Havering a  much envied name for traditional and new theatre.

The seven performances are  from 8pm on Thursday to Saturday June 16-18, again from Thursday June 23 to Saturday June 25 with a matinee on Sunday June 19 which begins at 3pm.

Tickets will be available at the Rockery entrance or on line, price £10 and £8. 





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