FANCY a comedy of misunderstandings or the most famous story of love at first sight this Summer?

Groundlings Theatre Company brings together two Shakespeare classics – Romeo and Juliet and Much Ado About Nothing – this July.

Performing these in the ruins of Glastonbury Abbey, with an all-male cast for Romeo and Juliet and traditional Tudor dress for both plays, Groundlings Theatre are going back to their roots this year.

Artistic Director of Groundlings Theatre, Richard Stride, is directing these productions.

He said: “19 years ago, Groundlings Theatre Company first started as a Shakespeare touring company and in the years after we travelled the UK performing to some wonderful audiences.

“This summer we are proud to return to our roots and go back on the road and are looking forward to sharing summer nights this year with new audiences and some beautiful venues.

“In 2010 Groundlings Theatre Company moved into the former Old Beneficial School in Portsmouth, a grade two listed former theatre which remains it’s home.

“We share the building with 10 ghosts and the knowledge that Charles Dickens Mother went into labour here and inventor of the modern-day umbrella, Jonas Hanway’s, birthplace was also upon the site.”

The Groundlings Theatre itself is steeped in history.

It was built in 1784 and was formally known as The Old Benny – the first free school in Portsmouth.

The school then became a youth training centre in 1962 and then the Groundlings Theatre in 2010.

Richard added: “We produce 70% of the shows that appear at the theatre.

“This year there has been An Ideal Husband, The Railway Children, performers for Portsmouth’s 75th Anniversary D-Day celebrations and our acclaimed panto, which this year is Jack and the Beanstalk.”

Somerset County Gazette:

Keeping in line with traditional values, the performances are open air at Glastonbury Abbey, as well as in traditional dress.

Richard explained: “We are going back to the company’s roots and taking Shakespeare to the people – all the world is a stage.”

The cast are particularly excited about visiting various venues across the country during their tour, which runs from June 20 until December 19 2019.

Richard said: “Travelling to fantastic venues across the country adds new excitement to the work.

“Our cast is broad, with a core cast of professional actors and an ensemble of actors from our drama school. This year we also auditioned graduates from the ALRA drama school.”

At Groundlings, all cast members love both plays, but their producer is a particular fan of Romeo and Juliet.

The trails and tribulations of love can be exciting to communicate on stage.

Groundlings theatre have some exciting future plans, as Richard explained: “We will be building and performing in a recreation of The Rose Playhouse in Portsmouth’s Historic Dockyard.

“We will also soon be producing a tapas festival – yum!

“We also have a joint venture with a Norweigan theatre, which will enable an Oslo exchange with our Drama School, which is very exciting.

“We are really looking forward to welcoming people to Glastonbury Abbey for what is sure to be a unique and thrilling evening of entertainment.

“Shakespeare in the sun! See you there!”

Romeo and Juliet will be performed on July 6 at 6:30pm and Much Ado About Nothing will be on July 7 at 6:30pm.

To see these plays performed by Groundlings Theatre at Glastonbury Abbey then visit or call 01458 831631.

To find out more about Groundlings Theatre Company and their other upcoming performances then visit