IF you’ve never before watched a play at Tolethorpe Hall, book a ticket now!
The setting alone is stunning, set in the grounds of the manor house at Little Casterton, near Stamford. It is home to the Stamford Shakespeare Company, which puts on performances from June through to August each year.
This year’s Shakespearean offerings are Twelfth Night and Henry IV - Part I. The theatre company also puts on a non-Shakespearean play, and this year it is The Three Musketeers.
It’s this play that I watched with my mum, Carole - and we were both very impressed. The cast was truly fantastic and drew you into the story of D’Artagnan and Musketeers Athos, Pothos and Aramis.
Lead character D’Artagnan was played by Jed Jaggard, who had clear chemistry with Musketeers Gary Jones, Richard Coville and Steve Whittaker. They worked well together, and their swordplay was impressive.
It must have taken quite some practice to confidently carry on and concentrate on your own duel with swords flying about all around you!
Each and every main cast member did a wonderful job and so it is difficult to pick out anyone in particular, and the actors with the smaller parts were also great on stage.
It is sometimes the smallest role which can make the biggest impression, and so was the case of Planchet, played by Steve Cunningham. Playing the servant of D’Artagnan he was usually in the background, but his comical presence stood out and he had the audience laughing away.
Seats in the theatre are beneath a permanent canopy, which ensures no performance is ever cancelled because of the rain. However, the stage is open to the elements and I felt so sorry for the Musketeers as the rain began pelting down during a scene. It was so heavy, we couldn’t hear a word they were saying as it pounded the canopy. We were lovely and dry though!
I cannot recommend a visit to Tolethorpe enough. The Three Musketeers will be performed again between August 6-11 and August 20 to September 1. The run of Twelfth Night has now ended, while Henry IV - Part I is on tonight (Friday) and tomorrow, and then again between August 13-18.
For more information and tickets, call 01780 756133 or visit www.stamfordshakespeare.co.uk