Wells Theatre Festival

The first ever Wells Theatre Festival will bring a programme of world class theatre to the city for the first time. The Festival will be produced by the local community, for the local community, encouraging people young and old to take part alongside professionals, in a series workshops and performances which will leave a lasting legacy to build on year after year.The Festival Patrons are Dame Judi Dench and renowned theatre and film director, Sir Richard Eyre.

Dame Judi Dench and Sir Richard Eyre

"It is wonderful to be able to introduce young people to Shakespeare. Hopefully, they will be hooked for the rest of their lives, as I was. I am thrilled to be a Patron of such an exciting and ambitious venture as the Wells Theatre Festival". Dame Judi Dench

"I am looking forward to giving a talk on directing Shakespeare. The Wells Theatre Festival is for everyone with a love of theatre. Wells has a vibrant community rich in culture, literature, music and food. It is crying out for it's own theatre festival and I am very proud to be a Patron"    Sir Richard Eyre

You can play a lead part in helping make this happen. Wells Theatre Festival will take place over four days between 12 and 15 July when Wells will come alive with an explosion of creative talent with visiting national and local theatre companies. Audiences will get the chance to learn new skills in a series of artistic workshops, and at the heart of the Festival is the  community production of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet performed entirely by local actors in front of the Cathedral. There programme also includes an exciting and innovative children’s theatre and musical theatre. 

Full programme details at www.wellstheatrefestival.org

We are using venues all around Wells, including the new Cedar's Hall, The Bishops Barn, The Little Theatre, The Globe Inn, The Cathedral and Museum Education Rooms and the Alms Houses Chapel. We will engage local schools, and community groups in bringing theatre to the heart of Wells. 

Upfront and running costs to put on the Festival include:

Free tickets and transport for local primary schools to attend the festival.
Venue hire.
Equipping venues that don't have in-house lighting and sound facilities.
Paying performers fees for those that can't simply afford to work on box office splits.

How will the money be spent?
£5.00 = a Primary aged child to attend a world class children's show at the festival
£10.00 = a new copy of the Romeo and Juliet text for a cast member or the hire of a theatrical lamp
£25.00 = hire of a costume for Romeo & Juliet
£50.00 = Hire of the Alms Houses Chapel for performances
£100.00 = PA system in one of our venues or pay for one of our interactive educational children's performers
£200.00 = transport for 50 primary school children to attend the festival
£500.00 = Romeo and Juliet scenery and backdrop

Performances include: 
Romeo And Juliet, Colin Cloud Live,  L_Ve Hangman,  Sticky Ends, Reynard The Fox, Hippo, Stolen, I Found My Horn, King Lear, Great Train Robbery, Chopping Chillies & Spoken Word: Hip Yak Poetry. 

Practitioners include: 
Sir Richard Eyre, Harry Burton, Clarke Peters, Dominic Mafham & Colin Cloud.

Reviews of some of the performers:
Jonathan Guy Lewis’ production of I Found My Horn, based on Jasper Rees’ best selling book about his experience of setting out to renew his relationship with the instrument he hadn’t touched for 31 years.  “Lewis is terrific, playing not only the French horn – supposedly up there with the oboe for difficulty – but also a hilarious range of brass-playing eccentrics” (The Guardian). 

Fresh from sell out shows on Broadway and the Edinburgh Fringe, acclaimed forensic mind reader Colin Cloud brings his LIVE show to the Wells Theatre Festival. Cloud’s astounding deductions and outrageous stunts have stunned audiences and intrigued sceptics from New York to Australia; from London’s West End to Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas. Fellow mind reader and spoon-bender Uri Geller described him as “one of the greatest thought readers of all time”.   “You may find the answers to what you‘re looking for – if you can deal with the shock. For better or worse, you’ll be altered forever.” You have been warned. ***** (Edinburgh Evening News). ***** (Daily Record).   

For young children, Wells Theatre Festival presents The Fabularium Theatre Company's, Reynard the Fox. The story follows the woodland’s most infamous scoundrel who prides himself on being the trickster of the forest. Reynard the Fox is a new piece of engaging outdoor theatre for family audiences of all ages, using The Fabularium’s unique aesthetic, strong imagery and all performed upon their traditional wooden cart. It will feature storytelling, puppetry, original live music and The Fabularium’s bespoke animal headpieces. 

Other great shows for Children include: Mufti Games production "L_ve Hangman" and Brave Bold Drama's production of "Sticky Ends".

What our supporters are saying about us:

'We're very excited to be on board with Wells Theatre Festival and support it in it's first year. Everything needs to start somewhere, and to have been asked to be a part of this beginning is wonderful. We look forward to visiting Somerset with Reynard the Fox and watching the Festival bloom, thanks to great people working together on a great cause.' Joshua Patel, The Fabularium

"The Well’s area with its art-discerning community deserves it’s own Theatre Festival, and I am fully supportive of Rosalind Johnson’s plans to make it happen. In her capable hands this can become a wonderful (if overdue) annual celebration of our world famous theatre heritage outside of London or Stratford." Mark McGann (Resident of Frome)

These include tickets to our festival which runs from 12 -15 July. If you’re unable to attend or already got your tickets, don’t despair – we have some great perks available for you as well. 

Thank you for your support

Risks and challenges:
We are 100% volunteer run and not-for-profit, we are driven by an inspirational spirit of passion, goodwill and genuine belief that if we all work together, anything is possible.

Managing costs: We have limited the amount of guaranteed fees to Performers and Theatre Companies opting for a Box Office split.

We have have been successful in getting some sponsorship for the Festival from local businesses.
Many of the venues have generously been able to heavily discount their hire rates for our performances.

Patronage: By having two high profile Patrons associated with this festival it should ensure a good level of public re-assurance.

Publicity and Public Awareness: We have strong communications expertise with professional PR and Marketing volunteers as well as good links with local council and chamber of commerce who are supporting the festival.

Tickets: We have made ticket booking easy by using a proven ticket provider attached to our website.

We have budgeted carefully and know what our limits are, while knowing how much more incredible the festival will be if we had a bit more funding.

We'd love to have the peace of mind of a successful campaign as we gear up for the festival; it'll ensure that we can continue to raise the bar in bringing Wells a truly unique, completely amazing Theatre Festival.

Donations ()

  • Caron Carr 
    • £40 
    • 19 mos
  • Jo Gatenby 
    • £170 
    • 20 mos
  • Willam Newton Newey 
    • £25 
    • 20 mos
  • CS Villiers 
    • £50 
    • 20 mos
  • Lois Rogers 
    • £50 
    • 20 mos
See all


Neil Johnson 
Wells, South West England, United Kingdom
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