Top theatre at Rye Arts Festival

An exciting variety of professional theatre is offered at this year's Rye Arts Festival from September 17 until October 1.

Wednesday, 31st August 2016, 12:52 pm
Updated Thursday, 7th June 2018, 11:34 pm
Rye Arts Festival - For All Time, a play about John Fletcher SUS-160830-111302001
Rye Arts Festival - For All Time, a play about John Fletcher SUS-160830-111302001

It includes an entertaining play about Shakespeare’s collaboration with Rye’s own John Fletcher, a pair of short plays performed in a caravan, and Rye actor Martin Wimbush performing poems by John Betjeman and Philip Larkin.

As part of this year’s worldwide Shakespeare 400 celebrations, commemorating the death of the playwright in 1616, comes For All Time on Monday September 19 at 7pm at the Rye Creative Centre Theare. The subject matter is Shakespeare and his collaborator, John Fletcher, who was born by the church in Lion Street.

The play is set one night in 1613 and is about writing a play. This is a funny and moving piece performed by Fletcher Productions which enjoyed a week-long sell-out when it was put on in London with Southwark Playhouse above the famous George coaching Inn, near the Globe Theatre.

Tickets cost £15.

Caravan Shorts is theatre in a van parked in the courtyard outside the Kino digital cinema with seating for an audience of 8-10. It is by Robert Linde Productions who offer two different plays, each 15 minutes long, from 12.15pm to 8pm with performances on each quarter to and quarter past the hour. Tickets are £5 for each play.

The first play is The Allen Key, a story which plunges us into the tragi-comic reality of what it means to be a human. The second play is Mary Louise, Mistress of the Seven Seas, when an ancient figurehead comes to life, telling tales of truth and the sea.

A Meeting of Minds from Martin Wimbush at Rye Community Centre on Sunday September 25 from 6pm focusses on three national treasures - Philip Larkin, John Betjeman, and Alan Bennett. This is a celebration of two of our greatest poets, with winsome essays by Alan Bennett.

Martin Wimbush performs the literary pieces in a unique way, re-creating the great poems as though performing a play, presenting them as a soliloquy directly to the audience, with profound and witty quotes from Bennett. Tickets £12. Booking at, or 01797 224442.