Beware, actors rehearsing


Lamb House became imprinted on the nation’s consciousness when it was used for the filming the BBC version of EF Benson’s Mapp and Lucia novels, shown last Christmas, and for two months the preceding summer it was knee deep in actors, scenery and cameras. And this weekend they are back.

Or at least some actors are – from the Lamb Players – in order to stage William Shakespeare’s comedy Twelfth Night for four performances only – and in the open air. However the weather all week has not seemed helpful to this endeavour, but the show must go on, as, allegedly, circus ringmasters said, even if an animal escaped or a performer was hurt.

In this case, though, the worst of the weather arrived earlier than expected and the Met Office is forecasting a cloudy weekend with possibly only the odd shower. However the first night of Twelfth Night (Friday) at 7pm in the walled garden has been looking possibly problematic (and our reviewer may need to pack a brolly) unless Thursday’s winds blow (the storm quickly past Rye.

In the meantime, behind the calm exterior of Lamb House, the Lamb Players lurk (drawn from the National Theatre and the Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) amongst others), frenetically rehearsing in order to deliver a professionally acted and directed production of Twelfth Night in a historic walled garden.

Tickets have been on sale at Grammar School Records and may be available on the door for Friday and Saturday (from 6:30pm) and Sunday (from 1pm and 4:30pm).

Lamb House is not resting on its laurels, or indeed its mulberry tree, after this weekend though, as it hosts Chapter and Lyric on Sunday and Monday August 30-31 from noon to 10pm each day in a unique and inspirational live music and educational project (see for information and tickets).

And then a marquee in the garden hosts most of the literary events during the Rye Arts Festival (September 11-27) kicking off with Michael Smith talking about the Arctic explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton on August 16.

Eight other literary talks then follow, including The housekeeper’s tale, A buzz in the meadow, Margot at war, A crisis of brilliance, Cyberphobia, From the Shadows, The Mad Boy and (last, but not least), EF Benson, Lamb House and Rye.

The box office is open Mon-Sat 9:30am-12:30pm at Phillips & Stubbs, 47 Cinque Ports Street, but tickets can also be bought online.

Photo: Kenneth Bird

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