The Shakespeare Project, the brainchild of theatre veteran and film actor, Peter Basham, aims to bring traditional performances of the bard to Tunbridge Wells.
In order to bring his Shakespearean ambitions into fruition, Mr Basham and acting colleague Laurence Taylor started an online Kickstarter, which hit its £7,500 goal earlier this month.
“Creating a new theatre company has a lot of costs attached so we needed to get a head start to ensure we could start to pay for things such as costumes, venue hire and of course paying for our professional actors,” said Mr Basham.
The actor has appeared in a range of high profile TV shows including The Promise, Sherlock, Agatha Raisin, Berlin Station, as well as a number of Hollywood blockbusters including Skyfall and Inception, but says he has never lost his passion for Shakespeare.
“It has been a passion of mine since even before I performed with Royal Shakespeare Company. I studied at classical drama school and I want to share that passion not just with regular theatre goers, but also people that perhaps have not experienced much Shakespeare before,” explained Mr Basham.
He said starting with a run of MacBeth to be performed at Salomon’s Victorian Theatre in November, he wants to provide the people of Tunbridge Wells with ‘a lasting legacy of ‘quality classical theatre’ and bring Shakespeare to a new audience.
“When I approached the folks at Salomons they were really excited with the prospect of this space being utilised for the local community.”
He added that MacBeth was the ideal start point for the new theatre company as it had a simple plot with easy to understand themes.
“When you examine it, it is very similar to Breaking Bad,” he said, referring to the US hit TV show. “It is eerily dramatic but starts off with a good character that slowly turns to evil. It is very accessible.”
He said that their actors and creatives come from prestigious institutions such as The Royal Shakespeare Company, London’s Globe and The National Theatre.
He continued: “We are very excited to announce that our inaugural production will be Macbeth directed by Joseph Pitcher (RSC Associate Director) and it will be opening, somewhat appropriately, on November, 5, 2019 and running until November 24.”
For tickets, theatre-goers can contact the Shakespeare Project’s Box Office at www.theshakespeareproject.co.uk. Prices start from £25.00.