Friday, 10 May 2013

Summer 2013 guide to England's Best Outdoor Theatre

Expect an imaginative feast of top theatrical performances, concerts and outdoor cinema at The Treasure 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 Prom Spectaculars to folk and contemporary music, all set against the backdrop of some of England’s finest castles, palaces and historic houses.

Celebrating 200 years since Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice was first published; travel back in time with Chapterhouse Theatre Company who appear at Harewood on Sunday 30 June, Chatsworth, Thursday 1 August and Castle Howard on Friday 2 August.

The ancient grounds of Beaulieu Abbey provide a beautiful summer backdrop for the Castle Theatre Company’s performance of As You Like it, one of the great comedy plays by Shakespeare on the 4 & 5 July.  Enjoy a picnic in the Cloisters before the performance at 7pm.

The Oxford School of Drama presents Summer Outdoor Theatre from the 12-22 June, in the magical surroundings of the Pleasure Gardens at Blenheim Palace, Enjoy a picnic in the glorious settings before the start of the performance at 7pm.

9th annual Battle Proms Concert (Saturday 6 July) is one of the premier picnic proms offering an evening of soul stirring classical music.  Featuring the world renowned Blades Aerobatic Team, Spitfire display, cannons, cavalry and fireworks for a memorable and unforgettable event.  The Burghley Film Festival takes place on 1-4 August for four days of fabulous films with the Elizabethan house providing a wonderful backdrop.

Don’t’ miss one of the most popular outdoor classical events with The Proms Spectacular on the 17th August at Castle Howard – a stunning location, brilliant music and spectacular fireworks all combine to make an unrivalled evening of magical entertainment including popular classics, movie themes, and traditional favourites associated with the Last Night of the Proms.

The Chatsworth Garden is hosting theatre productions with Treasure Island 31 May, Horrible Histories 30 & 31 July and Pride & Prejudice 1 August.   Enjoy an evening of songs from classic musicals such as Phantom of the Opera, Miss Saigon, Billy Elliot, My Fair Lady and many others at the West End Classic concert on 2 August or get your dancing shoes on for a superb night of classic disco, soul and pop at the ultimate party with a stunning 10 piece band comprising of London’s top session musicians on the 3 August.

The Medieval Faire takes place at Harewood on Sun 26 & Monday 27 May and 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 also a variety of Summer outdoor events with Cliff Richard’s tour starting on the 1 June, Gilbert & Sullivan operetta The Mikado on 11 July; Shakespeare’s, As you Like It on 25 July, Wind in the Willows (8 August) and  Babe the Sheep Pig (31 August).

Hatfield House
is welcoming Sir Cliff Richard – Still Reelin’ and A-Rockin’ (9 June) with A Summer Holiday to Remember spectacular.   Enjoy some of folk's finest acts gathered in beautiful leafy parkland for one uplifting summer day of music on the 21 July with Folk by the Oak bringing some exceptional folk and acoustic music to Hatfield.  There is also outdoor theatre with Lord Chamberlain’s Men preforming ‘As you like it’ on the 11 August and the family favourite ‘Treasure Island’ on 22 August.

olkham Hall has a bevy of summer performances commencing with The Lord Chamberlain’s Men and their all male production of Shakespeare’s mysterious and romantic comedy ‘As you like it’ (24 July).  Special Family theatre takes place during the summer holidays with Gulliver’s Travels (7 August), Dotty the Dragon (14 August), Treasure Island (21 August) and 101 Dalmations (28 August).

Leeds Castle
is hosting an open air classical concert (13 July) where John Rigby conducts the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra in a programme of classical favourites with special guests including the Military Wives.  The event includes a whole evening’s entertainment with a special display from a classic World War 11 aircraft and a fireworks finale.  Luna Cinema presents two nights of outdoor cinema showing ‘The Blues Brothers’ (6 September) and Casablanca (7 September).

Be captivated by the magic of outdoor theatre amongst the stunning setting of the Woburn Abbey Gardens with A Midsummer Night’s Dream (10 August) and Sherlock Holmes (16 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.
For more live event information visit:

reasure Houses of England

The Treasure Houses of England are ten of the most magnificent palaces, houses and castles in England today. Members are Beaulieu, Blenheim Palace, Burghley House, Castle Howard, Chatsworth, Harewood, Hatfield House, Holkham Hall, Leeds Castle and Woburn Abbey.  Each has its own unique charm and all combine together to give a fascinating insight into life in England over the centuries.

One of the most compelling features of the Treasure Houses of England is that they all offer the visitor a living history. Most are still homes to the great families who have owned them for generations. Others keep their heritage alive by re-creating scenes and events that have dominated and shaped England from the 9th century to the present day.
Between them they house some of the most important art collections in the world with famous works from artists such as Van Dyck and Gainsborough and priceless antiques including Chippendale, Wedgwood and Meissen.

Discover hidden gems and dark secrets, follow walks and adventure trails in beautiful parklands and gardens, enjoy classical concerts, outdoor theatre, family fun and relax over afternoon tea:  the Treasure Houses change with the seasons, move with the times and always have something unexpected to offer, something new to discover.

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