EODS prepare for outdoor theatre

A clash of sticks and the strains of a violin emanating from a Meads garden can mean only one thing - EODS rehearsals for its next Shakespeare production have moved outside.

Breaking with tradition, this year’s As You like It will be set in the 19th Century. Director Neil Stocker commented: “When I first read the script, I immediately saw the potential of As You Like It being set in a Victorian world. The plot starts in the court of Duke Frederick, with the evil Oliver attempting to kill his own brother, because Orlando is just ‘too good’. The remainder of the play is in the idyllic Forest of Arden, with ‘its sermons in stones’ and ‘good in everything.’ In other words, town versus country, or industrial revolution versus a more agricultural existence. The melodrama of money and city is held up as a dangerous place to be, compared with the bucolic world of shepherds, and where the pursuit of true love is the only real concern. Inspired by this and the artwork of the pre-Raphaelite movement it seemed natural to set the play in this era.”

Expect to find villains, heroes, strong smart women, a clutch of clowns and a melancholic philosopher in this delightful comedy about love and truth, which culminates in a fantastic quadruple wedding.

In the year of the English Garden and 400 years since the death of William Shakespeare, EODS are proud to present their fifteenth Shakespeare production at the Italian Gardens, Holywell. This delightful setting, surrounded by trees and with the sea in the background, creates an idyllic amphitheatre, where theatregoers can enjoy a picnic before the show or purchase homemade cakes, tea, coffee, wine and beer. Be prepared for an unforgettable midsummer experience of drama, music and laughter. The Gardens can be accessed by a path leading down from The Crow’s Nest on the seafront, which involves steps, or by the limited access road by the lower side of Helen Gardens.

Performances at 7.30pm from July 27 to August 6, but no performance Sunday July 31. All audience seating is undercover. Tickets £13-£18 available on www.eastbournetheatres.co.uk or by visiting or calling The Congress Theatre box office 01323 412000.