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Alfresco cultural events to book

It may not feel like it, but summer is here and we’re in for a real treat with a shed load of amazing outdoor events happening in the county from outdoor cinema to opera and, Shakespeare to Sherlock Holmes. Get yer diary out quick!
Rutland Open Air Theatre, Tolethorpe Hall, June – August
Enjoy the work of Shakespeare in the great outdoors, performed in one of the finest open air theatres set within the majestic grounds of Tolethorpe Hall. The 600-seat auditorium is permanently covered – ideal for the unpredictable summer weather. There are three captivating performances on offer – Shakespeare’s ‘The Merchant of Venice’ and ‘The Merry Wives of Windsor’, and Sheridan’s ‘The School for Scandal’. Details of performances and tickets can be found on the Stamford Shakespeare Company website.
Tolethorpe Hall, Stamford, Lincolnshire PE9 4BH
Nevill Holt Opera, Market Harborough – The Marriage of Figaro 14 – 21 Jun & Powder Her Face 28 – 30 Jun
Nevill Holt are opening their brand-new opera house this summer making it more uniquely intimate and enhancing the acoustics of world-class performances. Celebrating the long-awaited opening in June, the theatre begins with a brand-new production of Mozart’s most popular opera – Le nozze di Figaro. Figaro wants his bride, but so does his master. With the help of the rejected Countess, can Figaro and Susanna outwit the philandering Count before the day is up? This is followed by a five-star acclaimed dark comic opera – Powder her Face, which will dazzle and entertain in equal measure.
Nevill Holt Opera, Nevill Holt, Market Harborough, Leicestershire, LE16 8EG
Music at Belvoir Castle – Nile Rodgers & CHIC Thu 19 Jul; Il Divo Fri 20 Jul; Pete Tong with The Heritage Orchestra Sat 21 Jul & Sir Tom Jones Sun 22 Jul
Belvoir Castle are hosting a long weekend of pure music entertainment. First up is legendary musician Nile Rodgers and his band CHIC, bringing you a night of dance, hip hop and rock. Then there’s the classical crossover group – Il Divo who will impress you with their strong quartet vocals. Renowned DJ Pete Tong will also be delivering up Ibiza classics with The Heritage Orchestra giving you a real mix of dance and orchestral vibes. And last but by no means least is pop god himself – Sir Tom Jones celebrating his music career of 60 years.
Belvoir Castle, Grantham, Leicestershire, NG32 1PE
Outdoor Theatre – Pride & Prejudice, Donington Le Heath, Sat 14 Jul
Be taken back to the 19th century and learn the appropriate behaviour, mannerisms and etiquette of high society. Oh, and did I mention Mr Darcy will be there too! Enjoy an evening of comedy and romance in this enactment of Jane Austen’s infamous Pride and Prejudice, starting at 7pm. You may want to bring your own chair or blanket as no seating will be available.
The 1620s House and Garden, Manor Road, Donington Le Heath, Coalville, Leicestershire, LE67 2FW
Twelfth Night, Oakham Castle, Rutland Sun 8 Jul
Ever heard of eco-friendly Shakespeare? Well now you can see it thanks to The HandleBards – the world’s first cycling theatre company. They cycle from venue to venue with all the set, props and costume necessary to perform environmentally sustainable Shakespeare across the globe, and they are pedalling into Leicester to bring you some of Shakespeare’s finest plays. Catch Twelfth Night at Oakham Castle on Sunday 8 July or at Abbey Pumping Station on Wednesday 11 July. They will also be riding to Leicester Guildhall to perform Romeo & Juliet on Thursday 19 July. In usual HandleBards style, expect riotous amounts of energy, a fair old whack of chaos, and a great deal of laughter. More info and tickets can be found on The HandleBards website.
Oakham Castle, Market Place, Rutland, LE15 6DR
Abbey Pumping Station, Corporation Road, Leicester, LE4 5PX
Guildhall Museum, Guildhall Lane, Leicester, LE1 5FQ 
Open Air Cinema Event – The Lion King & Devdas, Leicestershire County Cricket Club, Leicester, Sat 21 Jul & Sun 22 Jul
For a weekend of outdoor cinema experience don’t miss this open air cinema event at LCCC on Saturday 21 and Sunday 22 July. First up is the screening of Disney classic – The Lion King and its fantastic soundtrack featuring Elton John favourites that will get you singing! The day after sees a Bollywood classic Devdas where you can expect a lot of dance and romance. Gates open at 12 noon on both days with the film starting at 2pm. Cinema refreshments will be available but feel free to bring your own picnic hamper. For ticket and parking details visit the LCCC website.
Fischer County Ground, Grace Road, Leicester, LE2 8EB
Outdoor Theatre – The Reluctant Dragon, Bradgate Park, Newtown Linford, Thu 2 Aug & Fri 3 Aug
Enjoy outdoor theatre in the atmospheric setting of the Ruins of Bradgate House with this classic story of a young boy who befriends a poetry-loving dragon living in the Downs above his home. When the town-folk send for St. George to slay the dragon, the boy needs to come up with a clever plan to save his friend. A touching, sweet and funny tale of bravery and friendship. Two performances daily at 11am and 2:30pm.
Bradgate Park, Newtown Linford, Leicester LE6 0HB
Bradgate Proms, Bradgate Park, Newtown Linford, Sat 18 Aug
Bradgate Park are hosting their annual event – the Bradgate Proms with the Bardi Wind Orchestra conducted by Music Director David Calow. It’ll be an evening of fantastic music from stage and screen, sing-a-long and a spectacular display of wildlife friendly lights and fireworks. Gates open at Hallgates at 5.30pm and event starts at 7pm.
Bradgate Park, Newtown Linford, Leicester LE6 0HB
The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes outdoor theatre, Ashby de la Zouch Tue 12 June & Loughborough Sun 12 Aug
Join Chapterhouse Theatre company in what promises to be one of the must-see productions of the summer – The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, performing at Ashby on Tuesday 12 June and Loughborough on Sunday 12 August. Deep in the beautiful Northumbrian countryside, a terrifying mystery and a legendary nemesis await the arrival of the world’s greatest detective. When the wife of Doctor Watson suddenly disappears, a desperate quest to find her begins. Sherlock Holmes comes face to face with his greatest fear at the hands of his mortal enemy in this stunning new tale of romance and suspense. For booking and further information see the Chapterhouse Theatre website.
Ashby de la Zouch Castle, South Street, Ashby de la Zouch, Leicestershire LE65 1BR
Beaumanor Hall, Woodhouse, Loughborough LE12 8TX
Outdoor Cinema – The Greatest Showman & Dirty Dancing, Belvoir Castle, Grantham, Fri 15 June & Sat 16 Jun
Catch recent hit ‘The Greatest Showman’ and timeless classic ‘Dirty Dancing’ in the beautiful stunning grounds of Belvoir Castle in this open air screening by Luna Cinema. On both days the film will start at 9.30pm with doors opening at 8pm so you can get comfortable in that perfect spot. See the Luna Cinema website for more details about booking, the films and the refreshments on offer.
Belvoir Castle, Grantham, Leicestershire, NG32 1PE
Summer Nights Outdoor Film – The Greatest Showman Fri 20 Jul & Dirty Dancing Sat 21 Jul, Bradgate Park, Newtown Linford
Bradgate Park are also screening The Greatest Showman and Dirty Dancing as part of the Summer Nights Outdoor Cinema Programme. Enjoy the charming films beneath the stars in the famous grounds of the Bradgate House Ruins. Films begin at 9.45pm with Hallgates opening at 7pm. For tickets visit the Summer Nights website.
Bradgate Park Trust, Deer Barn Building, Newtown Linford, Leicestershire, LE6 0HE
Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat, Kilworth House, Wed 25 Jul – Sun 9 Sep
outdoor theatre
A glorious musical that never tires and reaching its 50th anniversary is testament to that! Joseph is the favourite of Jacob’s twelve sons and is given a splendid multi-coloured coat. However, this coat and Joseph’s irritating talk of many dreams arouses the jealousy of his brothers. A plan is hatched to kill him whilst on an hilarious and entertaining journey through ancient Egypt. A performance that’s filled with non-stop action, a kaleidoscope of catchy songs, colourful dance numbers, laughter and fun will bring delight to an audience of all ages.
Kilworth House Hotel, Lutterworth Road, North Kilworth Leicestershire LE17 6JE
By Wing Chi Chan

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