THE ruins of Montgomery Castle will provide the atmospheric setting for the Illyria theatre company to return on Thursday, August 15, when they will present Shakespeare’s ‘The Tempest’ at 7pm.

Shakespeare’s final comedy drama follows the survivors of a shipwreck on the island home of the exiled magician Prospero and his innocent daughter Miranda.

With the assistance of a powerful air spirit she keeps in servitude, she conjures up a storm to shipwreck her enemies on the shore of the island. Inexorably they are driven towards the centre of the island to answer to Prospera – until Prospera learns that in spite of everything Miranda has met and fallen in love with Ferdinand, the son of her enemy. Which is greater – her thirst for revenge or her aptitude for forgiveness?

In their 28th open-air touring season, and renowned all over the world for their clarity, quality and ingenuity, Illyria return to their home-turf: Shakespearean comedy. The play, believed to be the last that Shakespeare wrote single-handedly, is lyrical, thought-provoking and raucously funny. More than 400 years after it was written it still has the capacity to surprise!

Illyria is an intrepid band of five actors who perform Shakespeare’s plays, entirely uncut, direct from the First Folio, the most authoritative edition of Shakespeare’s plays. It’s swift, it’s polished and it’s spoken beautifully (uniquely among open-air touring theatre companies Illyria’s artistic director has published articles on verse-speaking) – and scholars on both sides of the Atlantic agree that Illyria’s performance style is the most authentically Elizabethan to be seen.

Since 1992 they have performed on what feels like every patch of grass from Land’s End to John O-Groats – and also in Ireland, France, Germany, Holland, Switzerland, USA and Canada. They are the only UK open-air touring company to have won no less than four international awards, and have a well-deserved reputation for being, quite simply, the best.

The visit is organised by Montgomery Town Council and supported by the Laura Ashley Foundation, Arts Council of Wales’ ‘Night Out’ scheme and Hanratty’s Solicitors Newtown.

Organiser Councillor Mike Mills said: “I am thrilled to be involved with this project, last year’s play was a great success, hopefully people will come along with their picnics and enjoy a superb night of outdoor theatre at one of the most dramatic venues in Montgomeryshire

“There are only 180 tickets available and they are selling fast already”.

Due to the castle’s location there is only limited parking, audience members are requested to park in Montgomery and walk up to the venue. The event will be accessible for wheelchair users, and there will be limited seating only.

Tickets priced at £15 for adults and £9 for children are available at Bunner’s in Montgomery, online at from the Illyria website or on telephone 01686 668442.