• The HandleBards
  • Lucy Ward
  • Jacob & Drinkwater

Audiences will be treated to live folk music and a less than traditional staging of Romeo and Juliet in an atmospheric New Forest setting this September.

Hosted by New Milton’s Forest Arts Centre at Rockbourne Roman Villa, both operated by charity Hampshire Cultural Trust, folk acts Lucy Ward and Jacob & Drinkwater will be performing on Sunday 13 September, while The HandleBards will present their very own version of Romeo and Juliet on Wednesday 16 September.

The first outdoor performance comes in the form of live music from “Brit-Folk’s most vibrant and forthright new young talent” (MOJO), Lucy Ward.  Described as “Impressive and original” by The Guardian and “Inspiring” by Billy Bragg, BBC Radio 2 Folk Award Winner Ward is a critically- acclaimed singer-songwriter and folk musician. For the performance at Rockbourne Roman Villa, she is teaming up with Forest Arts favourites, Jacob & Drinkwater. The UK alt-folk duo have featured numerous times on BBC Radio 2, BBC6 Music and are lauded by their musical peers as one of the most accomplished acts touring the circuit today. The open-air setting will complement their captivating and powerful voices and create an unmissable atmosphere on the edge of the New Forest.

The following week sees the arrival of The HandleBards, a touring theatre company on bicycles, with a charming and hilarious style. Concocted by three actors cooped up together during lockdown, they will be presenting an unhinged and bonkers, laugh-out-loud version of Shakespeare’s classic tragedy, Romeo and Juliet. Audiences can expect to see music, mayhem and more costume changes than you can shake a spear at.

Audiences are invited to bring chairs, blankets and picnics and enjoy these performances in the last of the summer weather in a beautiful outdoor setting.

These events kick off the new season of live events from Forest Arts Centre, both at the centre and around Hampshire. Forest Arts showcases some of the best local performers Hampshire has to offer, as well as up and coming talent, and has a full range of performances for visitors to enjoy this autumn.


Jacob and Drinkwater with Lucy Ward

Sunday 13 September, 2pm

Tickets: £15 adult / £5 11-15 years / FREE under 11

More information about this event can be found here: https://www.forest-arts.co.uk/event/jacob-drinkwater-and-lucy-ward-rockbourne-roman-villa


The HandleBards: Romeo and Juliet

Wednesday 16 September, 7pm (doors 6pm)

Tickets: £17 adult / £9 under 18 / FREE under 10 (one under 10 free when purchased with one adult)

More information about this event and HandleBards theatre company can be found here: https://www.forest-arts.co.uk/event/handlebards-romeo-and-juliet-rockbourne-roman-villa

To help keep everyone safe, Hampshire Cultural Trust have introduced a number of measures in line with government guidelines for these performances.