A falling branch has caused irreparable damage to a stage at the Festival Theatre at Hever Castle, but shows due to be staged there over the summer will still go ahead.
Strong winds on Saturday, 15 July caused a branch from the castle’s iconic tulip tree to break off, landing directly onto the Two Sisters’ theatre roof and leaving the stage unusable.
Theatre director Ailsa Molyneaux said that she and her team were heartbroken:
“We were due to open the festival on 22 July, so the timing was pretty bad, but we were not going to give up.”
A temporary theatre has now been set up on Anne Boleyn’s Walk, which is the same size as the damaged one, but without the extended roof. Audiences are being warned that there is no weather cover at the new setting, and are also asked to bring their own seating.
Although the Festival Theatre is insured, it will not cover the entire amount needed to build a new stage, and the business now also has to pay for the interim venue. A fundraising page has been set up for people to help them cover the costs.
To see their full 40th anniversary performance schedule and to book your tickets, visit the Festival Theatre’s website.