Stamford Shakespeare Company

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Stamford Shakespeare
Formation 1968
Type Theatre Company
Purpose Production of plays by Shakespeare and other playwrights.
Official language
Artistic Director
Jean Harley
The grounds of Tolethorpe Hall; on the left the permanent canopy covering the auditorium

Stamford Shakespeare Company,[1] a registered charity,[2] is an amateur theatre company presenting an annual season of plays in June, July and August at the Rutland Open Air Theatre[3][4] in the grounds of Tolethorpe Hall,[5] Rutland.


The amateur Stamford Shakespeare Company was founded in 1968 by the late Jean Harley, then Artistic Director, with a performance of A Midsummer Night's Dream in the Monastery Garden of Stamford's historic George Hotel. It was under the support of the Stamford Arts Centre Committee in aid of the proposed new Arts Centre and restoration of the town's Georgian Theatre. In 1971, the theatre group became independent and was named the "Stamford Shakespeare Company".[6]

Open air Shakespeare plays continued at the George Hotel until 1976, when the hotel could no longer accommodate the summer open-air theatre because of building work. Tolethorpe Hall came on the market in a near derelict state early in 1977 and was acquired by the Stamford Shakespeare Company with a private loan later repaid.[6][7] The main interest on the grounds was a natural amphitheatre which was converted into a concrete stepped 600-seat auditorium covered by a canvas canopy. The first season opened in May 1977 with performances of Macbeth and The Taming of the Shrew.

2015 Season[edit]

2014 Season[edit]


  1. ^ Engle, Ron; Hardison Londre, Felicia; Watermeier, Daniel (1995). Shakespeare Companies and Festivals: An International Guide. p. 516. 
  2. ^ "273859 - Stamford Shakespeare Company". Charity Commission. 1977. Retrieved January 9, 2014. 
  3. ^ Holland, Peter (2007). Shakespeare Survey: Volume 60: Theatres for Shakespeare. p. 324. 
  4. ^ Hanson, Sarah (2010). "Drama in the great outdoors". Director. Director Publications. Retrieved January 9, 2014. 
  5. ^ "Rutland Open Air Theatre". Lincolnshire County Council. Retrieved January 9, 2014. 
  6. ^ a b Harrison, Derek (2007). Tolethorpe Histories. 
  7. ^ Jensen, Gregory (September 7, 1986). "Stamford: A lovely little town frozen in stone". The Deseret News (Salt Lake City, Utah). Retrieved February 1, 2014. 

External links[edit]