patron Dame Judi Dench

(2016 production of Hamlet)


"A high energy and gripping 2 hours"

(The Stage)

(2017 production of Merry Wives of Windsor)


"a clear adaptation and abundant talent"


Trish Knight-Webb founded The Festival Players Theatre Company in 1986, directing its first production Romeo and Juliet for the Three Choirs Festival.  She directed and performed in most of the productions and was Artistic Director of the Company until 2001.


In 1996 the programme was expanded to include other productions, outside of the main season, such as Not in My Back Yard, The Canterbury Tales, The Importance of Being Earnest and, most recently, Lettice and Lovage.


In 1997 the Festival Players Theatre Company was registered as a Company Limited by Guarantee.


In 2002 Trish handed over the Artistic Directorship of the Company to Michael Dyer. Since 2012 Festival Players has encompassed venues, costumes and equipment of the former Theatre Set-Up (click here for the archived web site) which had been touring Shakespeare for 35 years.


The Festival Players Theatre Company is now well established as a professional company delivering the best in open-air Shakespeare.  It continues to grow in reputation internationally.  2014 saw a change to the Festival Players set up; the company now tours as an all-male rep company staging two shows featuring the same team of performers.


The Festival Players's patron is Dame Judi Dench, and the company is committed to presenting the very best in touring theatre, providing an accessible and enjoyable evening for all types of audiences.

The Company

MICHAEL DYER - Artistic Director

Michael studied at the Rose Bruford Drama School and began his professional career as an actor with a season of weekly repertory in Folkestone.  Then followed several years in provincial rep and various roles on television.  During a career which has so far spanned over 45 years he has been an actor, theatre manager, director, teacher and lecturer.  He became Artistic Director of the famous Minack Open-Air Theatre in Cornwall in 1981 and in an eight year tenure he directed such productions as War and Peace, The Tempest, The Jew of Malta, and played Salieri in Amadeus, and Aslan in The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe.  Michael toured the South-West with Cornwall Theatre Company and on several occasions was guest director at the Lake Worth Playhouse, Florida; for his contribution to the Arts in South Florida he was awarded the Freedom of the City of Lake Worth. In 1989 he became Artistic Director and Manager of the Palace Theatre, Redditch, directing 10 seasons of Professional Repertory, Pantomime, and an annual Shakespeare production.  In 2001 he joined The Festival Players to co-direct Henry V, and subsequently became Artistic Director.


Maxine Ford - Administrator and Tour Booker

Cherry Knott - Tour Accommodation

Johnny Coppin - Composer and Musical Director

Glenys Walker - Bookkeeper

Trish Knight-Webb - Vocal Coach

HECTORPURPLISH.COM - web design and maintenance


Honorary Associates

Helena Oldacre, Jyl Rhys Jones, Richard Westcott, Steven Wright, Gill Cox, David Granger



Dame Judi Dench

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