CQ Saturdays Street Theatre Brings Edwardian Style to Derby Cathedral Quarter

Visitors to Derby Cathedral Quarter will be taken back to the Edwardian era this summer as part of the popular CQ Saturdays entertainment programme.

Cathedral Quarter Business Improvement District (BID), which was voted national BID of the Year in the Association of Town and City Management 2016 awards, has again commissioned Derby-based Ashrow Theatre Company for CQ Saturdays Street Theatre.

Actors will take to the streets in the Cathedral Quarter, including The Strand, Strand Arcade, Sadler Gate, Iron Gate, Corn Market and the Market Place, for the first time on Saturday May 28 and then on every fourth Saturday in the month between 11am and 3pm until August. They will perform specially-adapted snapshots of theatre and literature from the Edwardian era and, in character, interact with the public about the history of the area, landmarks and places of interest and events and activities taking place in the area.

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 the Towers, Tunnels and Tales tours on the first Saturday of the month; CQ Saturdays Street Circus, a teaser for Derby Feste and held on the second Saturday of the month; and CQ Saturdays Knickerbocker Glorious, featuring live family entertainment on the third Saturday of each month.

Actress and company director Rowan Scarborough, who set up Ashrow Theatre in 2011, explained: “The Cathedral Quarter is the perfect setting for this innovative approach to street theatre. “As well as performing adapted scenes from Edwardian theatre and literature, 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. “We had a great response and feedback from visitors to the Cathedral Quarter last year and I am delighted that we will be returning to the area again this summer.”

Fellow director Frank Simms continued: “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.”

Martin Langsdale is chair of the Cathedral Quarter Management Group, which drives forward activities under the area’s Business Improvement District status. He said: “CQ Saturdays is a popular and welcome visitor attraction in the Cathedral Quarter and, during the summer months, there is something happening on almost every Saturday in the area. “CQ Saturdays Street Theatre was particularly popular when we introduced it last year. The particular appeal of the street theatre is the mobility of the performances.  The actors move around the area and will draw visitors with them - encouraging people to explore more of the Cathedral Quarter’s hidden gems.”

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

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