News Story

Stage 65 have been working toward a stunning re-imagining of Shakespeare’s fabulous tale in one of Salisbury’s most beloved parks.

For those in the know, when Stage 65 took a site visit to Churchill gardens, this was revealed to be the location of a unique performance opportunity and Wiltshire Creatives' biggest production to date – Shakespeare’s The Tempest.

Here our Artistic Director, Gareth Machin, announced he was directing a show of which they would be at the heart of the production, performing alongside a professional cast and other community groups.

It’s a big enough project for us within the teams involved to get our heads around, let alone the 70+ members of Stage 65! But they have approached the production with a curiosity and enthusiasm Shakespeare often isn’t met with by young people. However, this is no ordinary Shakespeare!

Our youth theatre has been working on the project officially since January, (though secretly youth theatre leader Clare Threadgold has been preparing since well before Christmas!!) exploring the themes of The Tempest and Shakespeare’s storytelling through drama techniques, character development, performance skills and games.

The term since that chilly walk around the park has seen all their hard work start to come together through workshops collaborating with artists and industry professionals, Kate Edgar (Musical Director), Khiley Denman  (Movement Director) and Hattie Dawson (Assistant Movement Director, Panthera dance). It’s been fantastic to see how the devising process in their normal youth theatre sessions has come to life with the support of the professional team.

By directly working from young people’s ideas and putting them into professional practice, Stage 65 celebrates young people’s imagination, and this adapted version of Shakespeare’s final solo work will surely do that!

Now as we enter the official rehearsal stage of the process, our young people will be introduced to the adult community cast who have also been working with Clare Threadgold over the last few weeks, forming an exciting transgenerational cast!

As well as learning to enjoy the world of theatre, Stage 65 is about meeting new friends and helping members to grow in confidence. When it was explained to the young people that once the professional cast arrive, it will only be their second day of rehearsals, but they will come in to meet our amazing fully established ensemble young company [them!] who not only will know exactly what they are doing but be able to share back what the pro’s should be doing, well to say the atmosphere in the room was buzzing…

Our professionals will really have their work cut out for them to match this energy and excitement which we are really thrilled to share with our audiences this May half-term! 

Stage 65 is welcome to anyone with an interest in the performing arts to our weekly sessions; no experience needed. We can support young people from all backgrounds aged 8-21, and offer support for individuals with additional needs. Financial assistance through bursaries is available.

To find out more, or attend a free taster session, contact