With summer fast approaching and the outdoor theatre season in full swing the Treasure Houses of England have unveiled an extraordinary programme of performances for visitors of all ages to enjoy.
The calendar features everything from children’s classics and pre-school favourites to Shakespeare and Rat Pack Vegas Spectaculars, all set against the backdrop of some of England’s finest castles, palaces and historic houses.
June 8th-19th ‘Twelfth Night’ Blenheim Palace
The glorious surroundings of the Pleasure Gardens at Blenheim Palace will play host to 12 nights of ‘Twelfth Night’, this coming summer, the timeless story of shipwrecked twins and their adventures in the far-off land of Illyria. In this comedy of mistaken identity, the pain of loss and the madness of love combine in a world of absurdity and uncertainty. Shakespeare's last and greatest comedy will be brought to you in this outdoor theatre production by actors from the Oxford School of Drama.
June 18th – July 2nd ‘In the Night Garden Live’ Woburn Abbey
Popular children’s TV characters Iggle Piggle, Upsy Daisy, Makka Pakka and their friends are coming to Woburn Abbey this summer in the magical staged production of ‘In the Night Garden Live’. Showing in its custom-built state-of-the-art inflatable showdome, there is a choice of two shows, each with a different story. The show faithfully recreates the magical world of the television show, with the characters brought to life with full-size costumes; enchanting music, magical puppets and spectacular panoramic projections that all create an immersive theatrical experience that will make audiences feel like they have actually entered this magical world. Families will even be able to buy tickets to meet one of their favourite characters in person after the show, a feature new for 2011.
June 19th ‘Wind in the Willows’ Castle Howard
The tales of the river bank are brought to life this summer in the grounds of Castle Howard in a magical outdoor theatre production of the ‘Wind in the Willows’. Bring a picnic to complete this perfect family outing for Father’s Day. An optional 30 minute children’s workshop is also available prior to the performance.
July 10th ‘Hamlet’, Hatfield House
July 31st, ‘Wind in the Willows’,
August 14th ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’
Three outdoor theatre productions are to be held in the leafy park at Hatfield House this summer. First up is Hamlet, then Toad and his companions provide entertainment in the ‘Wind in the Willows’, followed by Shakespeare’s classic comedy ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’, perfect for a summer’s evening.
July 12th-13th ‘Much Ado About Nothing’ Beaulieu
Following last summer’s sell-out tour of Macbeth, Castle Theatre Company is again returning to the ancient grounds of Beaulieu Abbey with two open-air performances of Shakespeare’s ‘Much Ado About Nothing’. In a comedy packed with betrayal, trickery and confusion from all parties, Much Ado About Nothing will be a production not to be missed.
July 28th ‘Wind in the Willows’ Chatsworth
Cambridge Touring Theatre, the UK's most exciting, award-winning outdoor family touring theatre company, will be at Chatsworth with Wind in the Willows.
July 30th – August 12th ‘Festival of Surprises’ Burghley House
This year the popular Festival of Surprises at Burghley House will be themed on Magical Myths and Legends. Why not come and take part in King Arthur’s Quest, become a Knight of the Round Table and try and pull the sword from the stone? There are various children’s activities on offer everyday in the Gardens and admission is included with a House and Gardens or Gardens only ticket.
July 7th, ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ Harewood House
July 8th ‘Sense and Sensibility’
August 19th ‘Snow White’
The beautiful grounds of Harewood will play host to three different outdoor theatre productions this summer. Commencing the set is the magical comedy ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’, followed by an adaptation of Jane Austen’s classic ‘Sense and Sensibility’ with the classic children’s favourite ‘Snow White’ rounding things off.
July 31st ‘Snow White’ Woburn Abbey
August 7th ‘Peter Pan’
August 20th ‘Sense and Sensibility’
August 21st ‘Canterbury Tales’
For the fourth summer the successful and popular Woburn Abbey 'Plays in the Park' season for 2011 is here. Be captivated by the magic of open air theatre amongst the stunning setting of the Woburn Abbey Gardens. With a Jane Austen romance, Chaucer's classic and two children's plays: Snow White and Peter Pan, there is something for all the family to enjoy!
Bring your family and friends and join us with your blankets, low backed chairs, scrummy picnics and something chilled to drink and be transported away to worlds of romance, mystery, comedy and fairytales on a fine summer evening.
July 28th-30th ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ Leeds Castle
August 12th-14th ‘Snow White’
August 26th-27th ‘Wind in the Willows’ -
Leeds Castle’s is hosting a series of outdoor theatre productions this summer to provide entertainment for the whole family. Shakespeare’s ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ starts the programme off with its numerous comical moments, followed by the classical children’s tale of ‘Snow White’. To round the programme off is another children’s favourite, the ‘Wind in the Willows’.
August 6th ‘Rat Pack Vegas Spectacular’ Chatsworth
August ‘Wind in the Willlows’, ‘Much Ado About Nothing Holkham Hall
There’s fun to be had whatever your age this summer at Holkham with a weekly theatre performance in the courtyard. With a mix of traditional popular comedies and drama from the ‘Wind in the Willows’ to Shakespeare’s ‘Much Ado About Nothing’ there really is something for everyone. Refreshments are available to buy or there’s always the option to bring along your own picnic.
From August 9-11th from 10am-4pm the Cambridge Touring Theatre will also be running a 3-day Wind in the Willows workshop, which will culminate in a production of the Wind in the Willows. Children will be in charge of stage management, acting, singing, dancing, artwork, publicity and the production. The workshop is suitable for children aged 7-11 years and costs £90 per child for three days which includes a morning and afternoon snack. There is a 10% discount for siblings.