Ashfield U3A Enjoying Shakespeare

CO-ORDINATOR(S): Ron Walker & Ann Walter

TELEPHONE NUMBER(S): 01623-456389 or 01623-239258


VENUE: Ashwood Centre activity room plus outings

MEETING DATE & TIME: Third Thursday of the month from 14:00 - 16:00

COST OF VENUE, MATERIALS ETC.: Room rent only at present




PAGE CODE: Fully Updateable


The aim is for the group to see live performances, films or theatre relays of Shakespeare’s plays, beginning with Taming of the Shrew at Stamford Shakespeare Theatre. At the regular meetings, we will explore the plays we are seeing, so as to understand and enjoy them as fully as possible.

Since there is ample space at the Centre, we do not have a limit to the number of people we can accommodate. The accent will be on enjoyment, and whether you are an experienced bard-buff, an interested beginner or somewhere in between, you will be welcome.

We keep aware of other performances including streamed live broadcasts to cinemas. Our informal library of over 50 DVDs of plays and documentaries is enjoyed by members.

Ann Walter is the presenter and can be reached on 07864 291123 or email:

Thursday 19 April 14:00 - 16:00 Play Reading Ashwood Centre Activity Room
Thursday 21 June 14:00 - 16:00 Preview: The Merchant of Venice Ashwood Centre Activity Room
Saturday 30 June - Performance: The Merchant of Venice Stamford Shakespeare Theatre
Thursday 16 August 14:00 - 16:00 Preview: The Merry Wives of Windsor Ashwood Centre Activity Room
Saturday 18 August - Performance: The Merry Wives of Windsor Stamford Shakespeare Theatre
Thursday 20 September - Performance: Henry V [Branagh] -
Thursday 18 October - Preview: Troilus & Cressida -
Wednesday 14 November - Streamed Performance: Troilus & Cressida -
Thursday 15 November - Two Gentlemen of Verona -
Thursday 20 December - NO MEETING THIS MONTH -

Shakespeare's Globe Theatre in London: On May 6th we had a wonderful trip to Shakespeare's Globe Theatre to see an afternoon performance of The Merchant of Venice. The building has been re-created as an exact replica of the original theatre that William himself acted in, and it has a magical atmosphere.

Here you can be a groundling, if you like, standing in the large space directly in front of the thrust stage and having eye-contact with the actors. The 15 U3A members making up the party, however, opted for seats under cover and to one side of the stage.

It was a superb production, with a top professional cast, including Jonathan Pryce as Shylock. For most of us, it was the first performance we'd seen at the Globe, but we plan to ensure that it won't be the last.

Ron Walker

Lucky Thirteen: The rejuvenated group’s first outing took place on Saturday, 19th July, 2014 when thirteen members saw Taming of the Shrew at Stamford Shakespeare Theatre.

Having started and finished the day in rain, we were fortunate to enjoy very warm and sunny weather for our pre-show picnic in the stunning surroundings of Tolethorpe Hall. The afternoon performance by the semi-professional company was a delight, set in 1950s Italy, complete with Vespa scooters and contemporary songs such as ‘Volari’.

Altogether an encouraging event in the progress of the group.

Ron Walker

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