All About Theatre in the Fields

When I first heard about the new venture Theatre in the Fields back in February, I knew I had to feature it on the blog (yes, this post has been a long time coming). Artistic Director Lee Dillon-Stuart and Creative Director Tabitha Tingey have created a brand new theatre festival for the UK this summer.

Also helping to organise 'The Furneux Fringe' are Herts writer Hester Tingey and Louise Seddon of Brook Cottage Farm.

Both Lee and Tabitha are actors in their own right; I actually saw Lee in Les Mis a few years back and he is also a budding writer and director as well. When they saw the success of a festival at Brook Cottage Farm last year which Hester helped organise, they realized it would be the perfect space for a new theatre festival.

The festival will launch this year on Saturday 28th July at Brook Cottage Farm in Furneux Pelham. Lee says to think of it as "a mini Edinburgh Fringe" all centralized into one compact space. They're reaching out to local acting charities and planning on splitting box office monies between actors at each mini-venue.

The festival is focused on inclusion and "giving people from all areas of the arts space, a chance to try it out", according to Lee.

Actors can choose to camp overnight at the venue so it should be a great time and a lovely atmosphere in the middle of the Hertfordshire countryside.

Last week, they announced their first few shows: Buckle Up Theatre Company's Bump and Blind Elephant's Games and After Liverpool. As someone who believes strongly in supporting new and upcoming work, I think this festival is a great idea - especially for those who can't make the journey up to Scotland for the Edinburgh Fringe.

The farm has various small venues: the Black Box Barn, the Cabaret/Comedy Stables, the New York and Rehearsed Reading Tent, the Haybale Amphitheatre, the Yoga and Mindfulness in Theatre Bell-Tent, the Kids' Theatre Tent, and the Main Stage.

The festival will last from 10 am to 10 pm and there will also be food and drink stalls throughout the day. Theatre in the Fields is only a little over a half hour journey from London and tickets are very reasonably priced with just £10 for the normal rate.

Any performers or theatre companies wishing to take part should send them an email. You can also sign up to be a volunteer at the festival. Otherwise, make sure to follow them on Twitter to keep up to date and to buy tickets on their website ahead of their July premiere which is sure to be a blast.

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