THERE's much ado about the 17th annual Caerleon Festival - which among other things has, over its first weekend, grappled with Shakespeare, literature, music, and the town's history.

An outdoor performance of Shakepeare's comedy Much Ado About Nothing brought hundreds into the town's Roman amphitheatre, for a performance by The Festival Players, enhanced with original songs, composed by Johnny Coppin.

The audience was also treated to musical entertainment, provided by Monmouthshire and Newport Community Choirs.

South Wales Argus:

(Caerleon Festival's grand opening)

Much Ado About Nothing was an almost sell-out event and just one of many events being presented by Caerleon Festival through the coming days," said Tim Davidson, one of the festival organisers.

“This is an annual ‘must-do’ event for many. The sun shone and the crowds came.

“They brought picnics, rugs, chairs, tables and candelabra and enjoyed an excellent performance."

South Wales Argus:

(Crowds gather to watch Much Ado About Nothing at Caerleon Amphitheatre)

The festival's eighth ‘Lit on the Lawn’ event at The Priory Marquee, brought authors Phil Carradice, Jane Fraser, Cath Barton, Tristan Hughes, Tyler Keevil, Kate North and Michel Faber to Caerleon to to talk about their work.

The fun has continued through the weekend with singer-songwriter John Otway, a guided walk exploring the history and heritage of Caerleon, the Choir of St Woolos Cathedral, and the Rob Connolly Band among the eclectic line-up of events and entertainment.

To mark the beginning of the festival last week, the grand opening at the quayside of the Hanbury Arms saw a standard raised, accompanied by a trumpeter in the medieval tower.

A ceremonial bardic chair created by resident sculptor, Chris Wood, was presented to the Festival for display in the Hanbury Arms.


The festival continues tonight, when Big Mac’s Wholly Soul band will perform at the Priory Hotel’s Marquee from 8.30pm, with doors open from 7.30pm. Tickets for this are £10.

For more information, on this and many other events planned for the rest of the festival, visit