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Unmissable outdoor cinema and theatre

OUTDOOR THEATRE

Kilworth Theatre from May – Sept

Set in a beautiful wooded glade close to the lake in the grounds of Kilworth House Hotel in south Leicestershire, this summer’s outdoor productions include Joseph and the amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat (28 May) The Rat Pack (14 July), Cats (23 July), Rock n Roll Paradise (11 Sept), Faith, The George Michael Legacy (12 Sept), Simon and Garfunkel (24 Sept), Some Guys Have All The Luck (22 Sept), Money for Nothing (25 Sept) Abba Mania (26 Sept) plus more!

The Secret Garden, Beaumanor Hall, Sat 16 June

This summer, join young Mary Lennox on a journey of discovery as she is sent to her uncle’s house in the countryside, where mysteries and secrets lurk round every corner… As she makes new friends and encounters magical creatures, Mary has one burning question: where is the location of her uncle’s secret garden, and where has he hidden the key? Relive this enchanting tale of secrecy and curiosity in what will be one of the highlights of the summer. Entry from 6pm, theatre show to start ay 7pm.Tickets, adults £16, children £11, family ticket (2 adults & 2 children) £46. Picnic hampers will also be available to buy.

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, Jubilee Square, Leics, Fri 19 July

Get comfy under the stars in the city for an out-of-this-world outdoor cinema experience! You’ll be transported to a galaxy far far away with this space-themed movie night. Star Wars fans will be elated too. Free event – just turn up and bag a spot.

Jubilee Square, Leicester, Leicestershire, LE1 5LB

Emily Bronte’s Wuthering Heights, Abbey Pumping Station, 25 July

An adaptation by award-winning writer Laura Turner, is set to entrance audiences for an evening of theatre beneath the stars. Can Catherine and Heathcliffe’s love endure, or will the forces of nature tear them apart? Tickets are adult £16, child £11, family £46. 10% discount for parties of 10 or more. Tickets available from Abbey Pumping Station Museum on 0116 299 5111 or online here.

The HandleBards, The Tempest,  July 24 and Sept 6

They’re back, The HandleBards, pedal from venue to venue with all the set, props and costume necessary to perform environmentally sustainable Shakespeare across the globe. Join their all-female troupe at Leicester Guildhall for a bicycle-powered production of Shakespeare’s ’The Tempest’. A shipwreck washes the court of Milan up onto a mysterious desert island, inhabited by magicians, sprites and monsters, where nothing is as it seems. There’s magic, musicality and mystery a plenty! Catch it at Leicester’s Guildhall on July 24 and Abbey Pumping Station on Sept 6. In usual HandleBards style, expect energy, chaos, and a great deal of laughter.

Wind in the Willows, Bradgate House 8- 9 Aug

Pic Credit: Quantum Theatre

Spring is in the air and Mole has found a wonderful new world. There’s boating with Ratty, a feast with Badger and high jinx on the open road with that reckless ruffian, Mr Toad.  What more could such firm friends wish for? But after Toad’s latest escapade, can they join together and beat the wretched weasels? Join them on a mad-cap adventures in this heart-warming tale of friendship, mishap and mayhem in Quantum Theatre’s brand new adaptation of Kenneth Grahamse’s family favourite. Ruins open 1hr before the performance and there will be three performances. Thursday at 2.30pm and Friday at 11am and 2.30pm.  Adult £12,  Child (under 16) £8, under 2 free Family (of four) £32. Feel free to bring picnics. Parking is £3 for the day.

A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Bradgate House 8 Aug

With a quarrel raging between Oberon, King of the fairies and his Queen, Titania four young lovers become entangled in their magical affray and soon no mortals are safe in those bewitched and bewitching woods outside Athens. Quantum Theatre’s stylish and whimsical production presents a flight of magical fancy where real life is unexpectedly entangled with the supernatural, where willow-the-wisp fairies, unsuspecting artisans and ardent young lovers are beautifully woven together. Evening showing at 7pm. Feel free to bring picnics. Parking is £3 for the day.

An evening of Queen, Leicestershire County Cricket Club, Aug 17 

Enjoy a dazzling collection of performers from London’s West End, including former stars from the smash hit musical ‘We Will Rock You’, come together to present an incredible tribute to one of the world’s great rock bands.  Featuring dozens of hits from an astonishing back catalogue, this is an amazing concert evening no Queen fan should miss. Tickets from £24.

Tolethorpe Hall, Rutland, 11 June – 31 Aug

A stage set in an enchanting glade, a company of fine actors, stunning sets and gorgeous costumes. Take a seat in one of Europe’s finest open air theatres. Sprawled under a permanent all-weather canopy, it’s the perfect setting to enjoy the works of the world’s greatest playwright.  The Stamford Shakespeare Company take the stage for their 51st year at Tolethorpe Hall. Shakespeare classics are Twelfth Night from June 11 and Julius Caesar, 18 June plus, Noel Coward’s, Blithe Spirit from 9 July. Enjoy your own picnic in the beautiful gardens or enjoy a pre-performance buffet meal in the dining rooms. 

OUTDOOR CINEMA

Dirty Dancing, Rockingham Castle from 31 May

The stunning setting of  built of this 900 year old castle is where the fun is at this summer. Luna Flix are bringing their summer tour to the gorgeous grounds with a string of classics and new flicks including Dirty Dancing, followed by Mamma Mia, Here We Go Again on 1 June and Bohemian Rhapsody on Sat 7 Sept.

The Greatest Showman, Leicestershire County Cricket Club, Aug 4

Dive into your popcorn while watching The Greatest Showman on the big screen.  There will also be other traditional cinema food and drink  like hot dogs, sweet stall and much more on sale so you can really enjoy the movie in style! There will also be children’s activities including a bouncy castle and face painting. Ground opesn at 12.30 and film runs from 2-5pm. On-site car parking can be pre-booked for £5.

Oakham Castle, A Star is Born and Bohemian Rhapsody  30 – 31 August

FURTHER AFIELD

Much Ado About Nothing, Newark Castle, Nottingham, Sept 5

Join their all-male troupe for a bicycle-powered production of Shakespeare’s ‘Much Ado About Nothing.’  The story’s about a group of soldiers return from the war to a household in Messina, causing the kindling of new love interests and the re-kindling of old rivalries. The parallel love stories of Beatrice, Benedick, Claudio and Hero become entangled with plotting, frivolity and melodrama in Shakespeare’s famous comedy. Bring your own chair or blanket to sit on, a picnic to dig into, and dress for the weather. In usual HandleBards style, expect riotous amounts of energy, a fair old whack of chaos, and a great deal of laughter.

Newstead Abbey, 16 June

Enjoy the manicured gardens and beautiful ruins of Newstead Abbey, the ancestral home of Romantic poet Lord Byron, before checking out the outdoor theatre lined up for July and August. This year’s magical Shakespeare performances, include Macbeth Macbeth (16 June) and A Midsummer Night’s Dream (1 Aug). There’s also Sense and Sensibility,  Wuthering Heights (28 July) or have a swashbuckling pirate adventure at Treasure Island  (19 July)Frankenstein (10 Aug), Wind in the Willows (15 Aug), Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves (16 Aug) and Gangsta Granny (18 Aug). Check here for timings.

Belvoir Castle, June

Set in the gorgeous Vale of Belvoir, this Grade 1 listed castle will host the Luna big screen this summer. With gardens designed by Capability Brown, and a magnificent Regency house, Belvoir Castle will provide the ultimate backdrop for some fabulous nights of cinema under the stars. Catch Mamma Mia, Here We Go Again 14 June, Bohemian Rhapsody on 15 June and A Star is Born, 16 June. Doors open at 8pm and film starts at 9.30pm. The screen will be located on Cannondale Lawn in front of the Castle. You can access the site from main ticket entrance and there is a 20 minute walk up hill to the venue location.

Belvoir Castle, Pride & Prejudice, 20 Aug

Pic Credit: Chapterhouse Theatre Company

The first ever Open Air Theatre within the grounds, enjoy an incredible performance of Jane Austen’s classic. When Elizabeth Bennett meets the terse and abrupt Mr. Darcy, she loathes him at first sight. But is there more to him than meets the eye? Brought to life by award-winning writer Laura Turner from Chapterhouse Theatre, this adaptation has been a favourite of audiences for years. Gates open at 6pm, please bring your own rugs or low-backed seating. Tickets are available from See Tickets on 0871 220 0260 or here.

Kenilworth Castle, Warwickshire 1-3 Aug

Cross the border and head to this magnificent castles to enjoy some summer flicks under the starts. Catch the T Birds and Pink Ladies with Grease, (1 Aug) join a gang of vampires in The Lost Boys (2 Aug) or watch the foot stomping biopic is a romp of Queen’s career up until this thrilling performance at 1985’s Live Aid in Bohemian Rhapsody (3 Aug) this summer. Doors open: 6.30pm.

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