CQ Saturdays Street Theatre Brings Edwardian Style to Derby Cathedral Quarter
Actors in lavish Edwardian costumes will be entertaining visitors to Derby’s Cathedral Quarter in the latest part of the CQ Saturdays programme to launch later this month (May).
Three members of Derby-based Ashrow Theatre Company will perform specially-adapted snapshots of their recent acclaimed production, Oscar Wilde’s ‘The Importance of Being Earnest’ in the Cathedral Quarter streets on Saturday May 23.
They will also engage and interact with visitors – staying in character to talk about some of the area’s important landmarks and places of interest..
Held on the fourth Saturday of every month throughout the area between 11am and 3pm, CQ Saturdays Street Theatre is the latest addition to the popular weekly programme of free entertainment in the Cathedral Quarter.
Other CQ Saturdays events include CQ Saturdays Street Circus, a teaser for Derby Feste and held on the second Saturday of the month; CQ Saturdays Knickerbocker Glorious, featuring live family entertainment, and Handcrafted at the Cathedral Quarter, an artisan arts and crafts market, both of which are held on the third Saturday of each month.
Actress and company director Rowan Scarborough, who set up Ashrow Theatre in 2011, will play the role of Gwendolen Fairfax from the popular play with fellow company director Frank Simms as John Worthing and Freya Sharp as Cecily Cardew.
Rowan explained: “The Cathedral Quarter is the perfect setting for this innovative approach to street theatre.
“As well as performing five-minute adapted scenes from the play, we will be staying in character to talk to passers-by and tell them about different buildings and Edwardian life in Derby.
“So, as well as telling this popular story, we will be bringing history to life in the area in a fun and entertaining way.”
Frank Simms continued: “The original stage play is a series of different plots and therefore ideal to break down into bite-sized chunks.
“Street theatre does hold its challenges but its particular joy is that you can be flexible and adaptable to the audience.
“If someone followed us for the whole afternoon, they would get a great feeling for the story and for the history in the Cathedral Quarter but it is equally as enjoyable to dip in and out of.”
Paul Hurst is vice chair of the Cathedral Quarter Management Group, which drives forward activities under the area’s Business Improvement District status.
He said: “With the launch of CQ Saturdays Street Theatre there is something happening almost every Saturday in the Cathedral Quarter.
“The particular appeal of the street theatre is the mobility of the performances. The actors will be moving around the area and will draw visitors with them - encouraging people to explore more of the Cathedral Quarter’s hidden gems.
“It is therefore something very new and innovative for Derby and I hope that people take the opportunity to experience the Cathedral Quarter through the eyes of these Edwardian characters.”
Information about CQ Saturdays Street Theatre and all the events in the Cathedral Quarter are available at www.derbycathedralquarter.co.uk; on Twitter @DerbyCQ and Facebook CathedralQuarterDerby