The sun was shining as hundreds of culture lovers filed into Ludlow Castle for the town’s all-new Shakespeare Festival.
The curtain went up on Saturday for a three-week arts and entertainment spectacular, which kicked off with a performance of As You Like It.
The Festival has been given a new look thanks to its directors Chris Davies and Chris Moreno.
Shakespeare will feature for the first half, followed by an eclectic programme of arts during the second.
Proceedings got off to the perfect start on a sultry Saturday evening as people crowded into the Castle’s Outer Bailey to watch the open-air production of Shakespeare.
The audience were under cover, which means the show will go on regardless of the weather. However, with a great forecast in store, organisers are confident that people will be able to enjoy performances.
Festival boss Chris Davies was in the audience for the first show and was delighted that people enjoyed the entertainment.
He saved the Shakespeare Festival from oblivion, after organisers who had run a similar event for 50 years ran into financial difficulty.
Mr Davies and Mr Moreno created a new-look event that ensured the festival would go ahead irrespective of the weather.
Their vision was supported by actor John Challis, who features in this year’s production.
He said: “You have to move with the times and make sure what you’re doing is relevant to the modern era. Chris Davies has created an event that’s relevant for the 21st century and I’m sure it will be a great success.”
The arts festival will feature comedy, music, concerts and much more during coming weeks.
The event provides the town with a huge boost as people from around the UK descend on Ludlow and use its shops, restaurants, hotels and other facilities.
The three-week festival of arts and entertainment kicks will also feature the Ludlow Fringe Festival, which will run until July 6.