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Tales from The Tempest

A review by Antonia Pudney, work experience student at Harewood House this week…

A tale of love, betrayal and forgiveness performed by ‘Lord Chamberlains Men’ took centre stage on Harewood’s North Front. With minimalistic staging and few props the actors themselves were the ones that brought Shakespeare’s ‘Tempest’ to life.

An audience ranging from ages four to sixty four enjoyed an afternoon of open air theatre thanks to ‘Lord Chamberlains Men’- their interpretation of Shakespeare’s ‘Tempest’ was greeted with both applause and laughter by the audience. Periodic costumes and cleverly used props aided the actors in their performance but it was the actors themselves that made it a truly enjoyable experience.

The ability of the actors became very apparent whilst I was watching the play from the sidelines, seeing them exit the stage was like seeing a personality switch as they came out of their characters for the brief period of time they were backstage. The majority of the actors had to take on two roles as there are only several men in their company making the costumes a vital part of the play as they helped the audience differentiate between who was who at different points in the performance.

However, even without the costume changes it was clear that the actors had developed their characters meticulously so it was obvious when they had switched into their second character. The matinee performance was watched by both a primary and secondary school and even though some of the younger students couldn’t understand the complex language I believe they enjoyed themselves as the actors put both effort and emotion into their performance making it understandable even to young minds.

Overall the play was an enjoyable experience showcasing Shakespeare in a more intimate environment.

Find out more about upcoming events at Harewood House on our website www.harewood.org/whats-on

Save the Bees!

The Bees at Harewood were the focus of BCB Radio’s news bulletin today.

Research work being conducted at Dundee University has sparked renewed interest throughout the country in declining bee populations.

John Annett, of the Harrogate and Ripon Beekeepers’ Association spoke to James Crossling from BCB Radio to fill him in on the situation locally.

Suited-up James ventured into the apiary to meet the bees…you can read his article and see the video here: http://bcbnews.blogspot.com/2010/06/honey-bees-buzzing-off.html

Plot to Plate: New developments in the Walled Garden at Harewood

The Gardens are waking up after a long and exceptionally severe Yorkshire winter…

The Gardens team are now busy at work on the new vegetable beds in the Walled Garden at Harewood. This new kitchen garden is very much a team project with the Gardeners, Catering staff and Volunteers all working together to make the Harewood plot-to-plate plan a reality.

The Walled Garden at Harewood will revive the tradition of growing food on site to support the House and Estate and as part of our continuing support of local growers, reducing food miles and home-grown produce these new vegetable beds will supply both the Courtyard Shop and Café – so you’ll be seeing the food grown here on the menu in the café too!

As you can see from the pictures, the new beds are huge, much bigger than even the Gardeners had envisaged when they marked them out. Muck-spreading is the first job with sowing taking place late March to early June – parsnips, beetroot, carrots, potatoes, cabbages; many of which are new varieties for 2010. Next time you visit, take a stroll around the lakeside to the Walled Garden and see how work is progressing!

We’ll keep you posted with developments, just sign up to follow our blog!

Conferences, Corporate Hospitality and Christmas

On Thursday the sales team went off to the Yorkshire Conference and Hospitality Show at Savilles near the Royal Armouries. It was the first time in a ages that we’ve been to a corporate exhibition. Our new stand, which had been put together at a rapid rate of knots by the amazing Beck Marriott, was a roaring success. We attracted 15% of the total visitors to the show on the day.

Among the many attractions to our stand were the delicious mulled wine and mince pies, prepared by our fantastic hospitality team. Yes it was a bit early for mince pies but there was method in this madness. We were launching our Christmas party options and working on developing awareness of Harewood as a Christmas party venue.

Here is a short video of the stand. It was videoed using a mobile phone so the quality is fairly low.

On Friday we hosted 20 Conference buyers, from Conference Leeds, to lunch and a show around. A great bunch they were too. Fortunately the sun shone as we showed them our new Pavilion which will hold over a 1000 theatre style when it has been completed. Maggie Mash and Sue Sharpe provided us with an excellent tour of the State Floor and highlighted that the House has always been used for business as well as pleasure.

To end the lunch we asked for a volunteer. We didn’t say what they were volunteering for. But Rachel was very overexcited when we told her it was to feed our penguins.

This is just the start of Harewood’s drive to be the best conference venue in Leeds.

Family activities at half term

Harewood has opened for half term, the weather has been cold, sometimes clear, sometimes wet!
However there has been lots going on. One of the most popular activities has been the felt puppet making of tiger puppets to celebrate the Chinese year of the Tiger. in fact it has been so popular that Jennifer Auty, one of our Learning and Access Officers (she provides fabulous ideas for school trips) has had to go an buy more felt for the puppets twice! Here she is making a prototype puppet.

Today is Shrove Tuesday or now more popularly known as Pancake Day. It has been a spectacular success today with a huge number of families coming to see the demonstrations and get some ideas for their own pancakes. The pancake tossing was particularly popular. This year we will be doing a lot more food demonstrations in the Old Kitchen.