Stamford Shakespeare Company appeals for male dancers for production of The Winter’s Tale

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THREE agile, athletic men are needed as dancers for Stamford Shakespeare Company’s forth-coming production of The Winter’s Tale.

The play includes scenes of folk dancing led by the squire, played by Mike Harnett, founder of Rutland Morris Men.

He already has a team of dancers busy practising for performances at Rutland Open-Air Theatre between June and August but more are needed.

Director Ken Walsh says he needs two or three more ‘agile’ men to learn the great morris dances that are being incorporated into the script.

“This would be a great opportunity to learn some original English folk dances from the experts and to perform them at Tolethorpe. We have a great cast but have had difficulty in finding enough people for the traditional Sword Dance which opens the play and the wonderfully athletic Satyrs Dance that forms part of the sheep-shearing celebrations in Act Four.”

National sword dance expert Brian Kell from Whittlesey will be the tutor.

Anyone who thinks they fit the bill should ring 01780 480216 or e-mail the company’s marketing director Steve Whittaker on

Rutland Morris Men will also give live performances in the hall grounds before the play begins on June 27 and again on August 1 and 15.

Peterborough Morris will dance on the play’s opening night, June 14.

The folk music for the performances will be played by morrismen Pete Redman, Chris Petz and Mark Swingler, led by Mike Harnett. Local violinist Jess Craig of South Luffenham will play the background theme music at all performances.

l Stamford Shakespeare Season opens on June 6 with this year’s non-Shakespearian offering, Pride and Prejudice, which will run for alternate weeks during June and July. Hamlet opens on July 5 and will run on alternate weeks until August 27.

Tickets are £9 to £16 available from Stamford Arts Centre or by ringing 01780 763203 or 01780 756133.