Shakespeare 400 at Smallhythe Place

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400 years ago the world lost the most famous playwright of all time, William Shakespeare. Over two centuries later Ellen Terry was born and helped to change the face of theatre. She brought The Bard’s legendary prose to life on stage as one of Britain’s most reputable actresses.

To celebrate their talent,Smallhythe Place is hosting Shakespeare-themed productions, activities and exhibitions. Children can look forward to quizzes and puzzles in the house, as well as a whole week of Shakespeare fun in May half term. This includes a garden trail of interesting facts to collect about the playwright, as well as the opportunity to make Venetian-style masks. Furthermore, young visitors will be able to dress up in costumes and create their own stories, just like Ellen Terry used to do with her grandchildren when she lived at Smallhythe Place.

Ellen Terry and her grandchild dress up in the garden
Ellen Terry and her grandchild dress up in the garden
Ellen Terry and her grandchild dress up in the garden

We are hosting a diverse variety of Shakespeare’s best-loved plays both in The Barn Theatre and in the open-air, from comedy in ‘Much Ado About Nothing’ to tragedy in ‘Romeo and Juliet’. On June 4th actress Dame Eileen Atkins will be exploring both William Shakespeare and Ellen Terry in her critically acclaimed production ‘Ellen Terry with Eileen Atkins’ that is now being aptly brought to its namesake’s home.

In addition, on permanent display in the house are hundreds of theatrical artefacts and memorabilia. Visitors can learn about the famous Beetlewing dress that Ellen wore to play Lady Macbeth, as well as props, scripts, and personal items that belonged to the actress. Visitors will be able to learn about the characters, costumes and more with weekly talks and informative chats with our friendly volunteers.

Oak leaves
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Oak leaves

In addition, on permanent display in the house are hundreds of theatrical artefacts and memorabilia. Visitors can learn about the famous Beetlewing dress that Ellen wore to play Lady Macbeth, as well as props, scripts, and personal items that belonged to the actress. Visitors will be able to learn about the characters, costumes and more with weekly talks and informative chats with our friendly volunteers.

Upcoming events

Great Expectations

Sat 04 Jun 2022
19:30-21:30
Hotbuckle perform an adaption of Great Expectations at Smallhythe Barn Theatre.

E.15 Romeo and Juliet

Sat 11 Jun 2022
19:00-22:00
Romeo and Juliet is being performed by E.15 at Smallhythe Place's Barn Theatre.

Midsummer Nights Dream by E.15

Sat 18 Jun 2022
19:30-22:00
Midsummer Night Dream is being performed by E.15 at Smallhythe Place's Barn Theatre.

Archaeology on the Border – Excavations at Smallhythe Place in Kent

Thu 21 Jul 2022
19:00-20:30
Nathalie Cohen, National Trust Archaeologist, talks about last year’s exciting excavations at Smallhythe in Kent and throws light on what this years dig in August hopes to uncover .

Midsummer Nights Dream by The Summer Theatre Company

Wed 27 Jul 2022
19:30-22:00
Midsummer Nights dream performed by The Summer theatre Company in the Barn Theatre.

Tai Chi in the garden

Sat 24 Sep 2022
11:00-12:00
Join us at Smallhythe Place for some Tai Chi in the garden on the last Saturday of every month through to the end of September.