Horsham District Year of Culture flagship event: Leading councillor speaks out over cancellation

Jonathan Chowen, Horsham District Council cabinet member for arts, heritage and leisure ENGSUS00120121218101146
Jonathan Chowen, Horsham District Council cabinet member for arts, heritage and leisure ENGSUS00120121218101146

Disappointment is being voiced over the sudden cancellation of a flagship event for Horsham District Year of Culture just weeks before it was due to take place.

An open-air production of Shakespeare’s comedy A Midsummer Night’s Dream was due to be held at Knepp Castle in West Grinstead in June.

But Horsham District Council announced on Friday that the production was being pulled because of technical problems.

And this week Jonathan Chowen, Horsham District Council cabinet member for culture and leisure, expressed disappointment at cancellation of the event.

“We are disappointed that we cannot deliver A Midsummer Nights Dream at Knepp Castle as it was shaping up to be a great production,” he said.

“However, with over 500 events taking place across the district there is so much to enjoy and take part in in the coming months including an impressive range of shows on offer at the Capitol Theatre.”

A council spokeswoman said: “Despite the time and effort that went into planning this production, the technical infrastructure required for the event proved to be too problematic and it was agreed that it would not be prudent to stage the event this year.”

The show had been billed as one of the largest events during the Horsham District Year of Culture.

It was to have featured a professional company, alongside a number of local amateur actors following audtions held in March.

The council says that anyone who has bought tickets in advance will have their money refunded.