Thursday, 10 May 2012

Summer 2012 Guide to England's Best Outdoor Theatre

Expect an imaginative feast of outdoor events and top theatrical performances at TheTreasure Houses of England this summer. Immerse yourself in spectacular surrounds at the country’s grandest palaces, houses and estates for a series of show-stopping events for all ages.

The calendar features everything from children’s classics and pre-school favourites to Shakespeare and Jousting and Prom Spectaculars, all set against the backdrop of some of England’s finest castles, palaces and historic houses.

The Castle Theatre Company brings open-air theatrics to Beaulieu Abbey with aplomb, delivering the magnificent A Midsummer Night’s dream to celebrate its 34th Summer Shakespeare Tour (4-5 July).

Mark May Bank Holiday (5-7 May) with Blenheim Palace’s exhilarating Jousting Tournament featuring ‘The Knights of Royal England.’ From jousting on the South Lawn to hand-to-hand combat off the horses, it looks set to excite and enthrall the entire family.  The Oxford Drama School presents Summer Shakespeare at Blenheim Palace (13-23 June) with a difference. Delivering stand-up comedy, music, sword fighting and plate spinning, bring a picnic and admire the side-splitting spectacle.

The Lord Chamberlain's Men, a traditional men-only touring troupe, return to Leeds Castle this summer to perform Shakespeare’s dark tragedy “Macbeth” 28-30 June.  Bring a picnic and enjoy this classic evening production in the grounds of the 900 year castle.

Chatsworth presents their ever-popular Concerts in the Garden (3-4 August) for an evening of live music on the lawn; and there’s magical theatre for all the family set in the Chatsworth garden, with Sleeping Beauty (20 July) and The Sword in the Stone (18 August). Children and adults alike will fall in love with these magical adaptations of classic stories.

On Saturday 30 June – Sunday 1 July, the Medieval Faire at Harewood brings together all the colour, excitement and history from this extraordinary period: jousting and archery, armoury displays, Norman skirmish and encampments; historical traders, crafts, cooking, clothing, puppet shows, medieval music, games, falconry and storytelling.  There’s outdoor theatre for children, with Roald Dahl at his very best with ‘The Twits’ on Thursday 9th August when ‘Come-uppance’ takes on a whole new meaning.  On the 26th August, there follows a spectacular production of Black Beauty which will take your breath away – it’s outdoor theatre in the 21st century style set within the heritage of Harewood.

HatfieldHouse is delivering Shakespeare in the Park with Macbeth (12 August) and enjoy some of folk's finest acts  gathered in beautiful leafy parkland for one uplifting summer day of music on the 22 July with Folk by the Oak!  The 12th annual Hatfield House Battle Proms Concert will take place on Saturday 21 July 2012. As well as the usual highlights such as the Napoleonic cavalry, 200 live cannons, Spitfire display, breathtaking fireworks and a sing along proms finale, the 2012 Battle Proms will include a Diamond Jubilee Gun Salute from a vintage QF Field Gun fired manually by a team of gunners.

HolkhamHall is hosting a range of August events with a bevy of performances that are ideal for all the family. The Owl Who Was Afraid of the Dark (1 August) fuses live music, puppetry and storytelling for a captivating take on the classic character. Grimms’ Fairy Tales (7 August) shares the best-loved stories that will thrill adults and children with its inventive magic, while a 1940s adaptation of Sleeping Beauty (14 August) will spark fairytale fantasies in both young and old.

Holkham also presents King Arthur and the Sword in the Stone (22 August) with its tales of mystery and adventure and finally The Tales of Beatrix Potter starring Peter Rabbit and his friend Benjamin Bunny (29 August) - two spellbinding productions that guarantee a magical evening’s entertainment.

Burghley’s Battle Proms Concert (7 July) sees ground-shaking, breathtaking pyrotechnics and displays alongside a superb array of classical music guaranteed to make you wave your flags, sing out loud and even waltz under the stars!

Enjoy a summer’s evening at Castle Howard with Peel Heritage’s brand new version of the classic story of Black Beauty. The story has been reinvented for a modern audience and is guaranteed to delight all ages. (26th & 27th July) and don’t miss one of the most popular outdoor classical events in the UK with The Proms Spectacular on the 18th August at Castle Howard – a stunning location, brilliant music and spectacular fireworks all combine to create an unrivalled evening of magical entertainment.

Experience open-air theatre in the most dramatic setting of Woburn Abbey.  Showcasing its fifth year of popular and successful summer outdoor plays, the stunning location of the gardens promises a Shakespearian favourite, a Jane Austen romance, an Oscar Wilde comedy and three fun family favourites - ensuring something for all the family to enjoy.   Black Beauty (7th and 8th July), an adaptation of Jane Austen’s Emma (4th August), The Tales of Beatrix Potter (5th August), A Midsummer Night’s Dream (11th August), The Importance of Being Earnest (18th August) and King Arthur and The Sword in the Stone (26th August).

Bring family and friends along with your blankets, low-back chairs, scrummy picnics and something chilled to drink and escape into enchanting worlds of romance, mystery, comedy and fairytales on a fine summer evening.

The Treasure Houses of England (THE) is a consortium of 10 of the country’s finest palaces, historic houses and castles. Unique in character, each property has its own magical blend of magnificent architecture, fabulous surroundings, world-class collections and family attractions to enjoy.

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