The headline event of the 2014 Petworth Festival, Petworth Festival and the National Trust were proud to present five nights of discovery, theatre, laughter and the unexpected.  Hotspur Theatre Company breathed feisty new life and offered a unique insight into the collection of Jacobean plays.


Set over 75 minutes, the audience toured Petworth’s architectural jewel, discovered gems by Shakespeare and other giants of the age including John Lyly, John Webster and Ben Jonson.

The scenes followed a tour of the House – the Square Dining Room (which houses contemporary images of Shakespeare plays); the grand staircase (which gloriously portrays the legend of Pandora's Box); the formal Marble Hall; the carved room with its painting by JMW Turner and contemporary images of Shakespearean theatre; and the North Gallery packed with classical statuary. The final scenes took place in the medieval chapel and in the grounds where a masque played out.

They appear to have been purchased together as a collection in the late 1630s, by Algernon Percy, the 10th Earl of Northumberland. The plays chosen for these performances were selected to give a cross-section of this diverse and fascinating collection which contains a wide variety of works by different playwrights, with different themes, in different genres and from five different decades. Comedy, tragedy and history of course, but also allegory, satire, city comedy, biblical epic, classical, military history, domestic tragedy and many others.

Luke Beattie, Rikki Lawton, Chris Myles

Dom Tighe, Lee Drage

Lee Drage, Dom Tighe

Lee Drage

The Petworth Players

The Petworth Players

L-R: Anthony Jardine, Luke Beattie, Rikki Lawton, Chris Myles, Lee Drage, Dom Tighe

Luke Beattie