On 21 May 2018, just days before The Lord Chamberlain’s Men production of The Tempest was due to premiere at the Brighton Festival, the van containing the company’s bespoke set and entire collection of new handmade costumes along with props and many other items were stolen and continue to remain missing.
With over 70 venues and more than 10,000 miles of touring ahead there remained only one option; continue touring and re-create the design elements of the production. For the first few weeks of the tour, the group put together a version of the set in order to present the production and entertain audiences at the Brighton Festival. Now, only three weeks since the theft, The Lord Chamberlain’s Men has completely rebuilt their set, remade their costumes and continue their tour across the UK and Europe.
Artistic director Peter Stickney: “The moment we discovered that our van was stolen, we knew we had lost the entirety of the production. It had taken months of tireless work and, understandably, the company and our creative team were devastated. But like a phoenix from the ashes, we have risen!
“The way in which everyone has pulled together to re-create this magical production has been extraordinary. Now, with plenty of dedication and without missing a single show, we have brand new costumes and a beautiful set which will enable us to continue touring the highest quality outdoor theatre to audiences across the UK and Europe.”
Stickney said he wished to thank the incredible teams at Splinter Scenery and Planet Costume, designer Morgan Brind, and many others who had dropped everything at short notice and leapt to their aid. He was also grateful to the supportive venues and “loyal and lovely audiences for making it all worthwhile”.
As well as touring across the UK, this summer The Lord Chamberlain’s Men will present their production of The Tempest at six outdoor locations for the first time in the company’s history: Ham House and Garden, Eltham Palace, Chiswick House and Gardens, Morden Hall Park, St John’s Lodge Garden in Regent’s Park and Kenwood House.
Founded in 2004, The Lord Chamberlain’s Men are the modern incarnation of Shakespeare’s original company of the same name. Performing with an all-male cast, the company presents authentic productions of Shakespeare’s finest plays.