About the Festival

Canterbury is known for it’s breathtaking landscapes and picturesque views. So, what better place for a festival to produce Shakespearean productions?

The Canterbury Shakespeare Festival (started in April 2015 by Benjamin Chamberlain) was a project designed to put on Shakespearean plays that are fun and exciting to the public. It began with just two shows (Midsummer Night’s Dream and Romeo and Juliet) where members of the public: students and locals, joined together, to create these two shows, to dazzle and entertain their audiences. Since then, through the perseverance of the original vision and pure love of Shakespeare, the festival has grown, producing five-six plays per summer season, in multiple, stunning locations, all over Canterbury.

A big part of what we feel is special to the Canterbury Shakespeare Festival is it’s community feel – we want as many people as possible from Canterbury and Kent to be involved in any capacity. Whether you want to act, direct, stage manage, or just watch, we want you to be involved. That’s one of the reasons we create, and provide, as many shows as possible – so we are able to include as many actors and volunteers as possible.

We have a strong belief that theatre should be accessible to everyone. This is why we produce a show every year that is free to attend. There should be no barriers to theatre, or to Shakespeare, and by doing a free show; we can ensure that, through us, people who can’t normally see Shakespeare get to see some beautiful prose in the great outdoors.


The Founding Committee (2015): Benjamin Chamberlain, Jamie Harris, Philip Hunt, Tom Clare, Camilla Eriksen and Jordan Coverdale.

Meet the current Canterbury Shakespeare Festival Board here