Shakespeare in Queens Park Festival
Toowoomba's Shakespeare in Queens Park Festival (SiQPF) celebrates its third season with a mainstage production of The Comedy of Errors.
Since our last Festival, I had the chance to visit the Stratford Festival of Canada last August. This Shakespeare festival is over 50 years old, and in this time, it has put a small country town on the map in terms of cultural tourism. Last year, it presented 15 separate productions, in four venues and it runs from April to November each year. Its acting company alone numbers 124. Is it impressive? It's astonishing, it's an institution, and I suspect for the citizens of Stratford, a way of life!
What's really impressive, and heartening, is that this festival, like ours, began with an idea taken up by its community … and one play (Richard III). The Stratford Festival also began outdoors in a park, albeit under canvas—given the vagaries of Canadian weather! Like many others, before and since, the Stratford Festival is proof that it makes good business sense to put a smart idea to work with great talent, adequate financial support and unstinting encouragement. The outcomes can and do create a place that is wonderful to live in, and to visit.
Our pride and delight as SiQPF organisers is that we have, once again, been sponsored and supported generously and encouraged unstintingly by USQ and the Toowoomba City Council. We're working together, along with many other business friends and talented individuals to grow our festival into one of Australia's leading theatre events.
There is no Shakespeare festival in Australia, and no regional festival like ours, where we perform and relax together outdoors.
Assoc Prof Kate Foy, Deputy Dean, USQ Faculty of Arts