Sunday, July 29, 2012
The annual Shakespeare in the Garden event held at Sand, Sidbury has over the years become a firm fixture in the calendars of many people.
This year’s performance of Richard III on 19 July was delivered, as usual, by the justifiably acclaimed Festival Players Theatre Company of Gloucestershire. One could hardly wish for a more searching or cutting account of the shenanigans which resulted in the progress of the English crown out of the Wars of the Roses and on to the Tudor dynasty. Even better, the evening was blessed with a blue sky and the warm sunshine we have all been looking for!
Unfortunately the loyal following which normally gives its support to both the historic house and to ABF the Soldiers’ Charity was much reduced this year. It is hard to say whether this was simply because of the awful summer we have so far endured, or whether this really is the recession finally showing its teeth. Either way it is a great shame that a charity doing such valuable work in supporting our soldiers and their dependents in need has seen its income fall dramatically both at this event and throughout the year.
Given those circumstances and the baseless rumour, which was apparently circulating during the day in the village, that the performance had been cancelled, it is unsurprising that the event fell just short of break-even.
So it is to the great credit of ABF’s sponsors for the event: Brend Hotels, Sidmouth Garden Centre , and especially the main sponsor, Fields of Sidmouth, that this charity came out of the evening with a welcome addition to its coffers.
All that can be hoped is that next year the summer is better, the economy improved, oh and the rumour mongers stay quiet.