UPDATE: Stafford Shakespeare Festival postponed to 2022
The annual Stafford Shakespeare Festival which was due to take place this summer has been postponed.
Freedom Leisure and Stafford Borough Council took the decision to postpone the event because of the ongoing uncertainty surrounding the Covid-19 pandemic.
Now the production of Romeo and Juliet will take place in 2022 – with all tickets purchased for the 2020 performance automatically transferred.
The annual performance of the bard’s work is set against the backdrop of the listed Stafford Castle – which has dominated the skyline of the county town for more than 900 years.
But with the Stafford Gatehouse Theatre remaining closed to comply with national lockdown restrictions, Freedom Leisure say planning for future events has been extremely difficult and the welfare of their staff, actors and audience has been paramount.
Freedom Leisure runs the theatre, leisure centres as well as major events and sporting activities on behalf of the Borough Council.
Councillor Carolyn Trowbridge, Cabinet Member for Leisure, said: “This was a very sad decision to take. Shakespeare at the Castle is one of the jewels in the crown of the cultural offering in our county.
“But it is the right decision. We have seen how things change rapidly and with so much uncertainty still surrounding this virus it is right to postpone now. I hope those who have bought tickets understand why we have taken that decision and, when we are able to, I’d ask people to please return to the theatre and these events as they will need our support more than ever.”
Work is currently underway to refurbish the Gatehouse, making it a safe and welcoming space for audiences and theatre family to return to.
If you do have a ticket for a performance of Romeo and Juliet you do not need to contact the Gatehouse. Tickets will automatically be carried over to 2022 and people will be contacted with dates and show times when the Box Office team are back in the building.