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FRESH! Best outdoor theatre and cinema in your hood!

Picnic hampers and fold-up chairs at the ready: it's outdoor theatre season! You've got your pick this year, from kid-pleasing comedy to family classics. Here are the best to book now.

Stamford Shakespeare, Tolethorpe Theatre, from June – Aug

It’s curtain up at Tolethorpe Hall and this year, you can watch Shakespeare’s immortal tale of star-crossed lovers, Romeo and Juliet, Noel Coward’s wonderful play, Hayfever set in the 1920s and full of brilliant prose and scintillating wit, Spider’s Web – a comedy whodunnit from the ‘Queen of Crime’ Agatha Christie and Lord of the Flies by William Golding and adapted for this stage performance. Tickets from £14

As You Like It, Rockingham Castle, 30 June

Come and enjoy ‘As You Like It’ in the Castle Gardens, The Lord Chamberlain’s Men return with a joyous and celebratory production of this Shakespeare favourite. Bring a chair, picnic and a glass of something chilled as you sit back and relax and enjoy the show. Tickets from £10.

Rapunzel, Rutland Water, From 3 July

Let down your hair and enjoy this brand new production of a children’s classic! Expect a laugh-out-loud script, audience participation, catchy songs and maybe even the odd water gun or two! With magic and mayhem throughout, this is one hair-raising adventure you won’t want to miss! Bring your own chair/blankets/food and drink. Tickets from £10 and under 3s go free.

Carousel, Kilworth Theatre, until 3 July

One of Leicestershire’s best kept secrets, Kilworth House Outdoor Theatre will be showing much-loved musical, Carousel. The poignant story of faithful Julie and her robust, but charming carnival barker husband Billy Bigelow. The musical includes much-loved classics including ‘Mister Snow’, ‘If I Loved You’, and the immortal ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’. Tickets from £42.

Half a Sixpence, Kilworth House Theatre19 July – 28 Aug

outdoor theatre

A new award-winning stage version of the musical comedy has been inspired by HG Wells’ semi-autobiographical book Kipps: The Story of a Simple Soul. A completely fresh adaptation for modern audiences, it features songs including ‘Flash, Bang, Wallop!’, ‘Money to Burn’ and of course ‘Half A Sixpence’. Tickets from £42.

A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Bradgate Park, 15 July

Love, intrigue, magic and mayhem – it’s all in this brilliantly funny and exuberant rendition of Shakespeare’s classic comedy. Set on a dangerous night when nothing is as it seems, four young lovers become entangled in a magical mess. Performed near the Deer Barn Café and Visitor Centre. Performance from 7-9pm. Tickets from £10 or a family for £45. Dog-friendly seating available.

Pride & Prejudice, Rockingham Castle, 11 Aug

Take a step back in time and meet Elizabeth Bennett and her sisters on their own quest for true love. Amidst mistakes and miscommunications, can Elizabeth finally surpass her prejudices to see past the proud exterior of the enigmatic Mr Darcy? Put together by Chapter House Theatre Company. Tickets from £10.

Romeo and Juliet, De Montfort Hall, Aug 19

Opening their summer outdoor theatre season will be Romeo and Juliet, this much-loved story of star crossed lovers and feuding families will be performed in the gorgeous grounds (bring your own chairs) and feature full Elizabethan costume. Tickets from £12.

Awful Auntie, De Montfort Hall 20 Aug and Belgrave Hall, 25 Aug

Adapted for the outdoor stage, this is one show you won’t want to miss. You’re invited to join in the dedication of the new playground at Saxby Hall and hear how it all came about. Make sure you bring a blanket or chair to sit on, weather-appropriate gear, and a picnic, as the tale could take some time to tell, and storytelling can be hungry work! Tickets from £12. Family tickets £45.

The Tale of Peter Rabbit & Benjamin Bunny, Bradgate Park, 18 Aug

Join Peter and Benjamin for a hair-raising adventure that will delight the whole family. An enchanting new adaptation of two of Beatrix Potter’s best loved tales will be set within the grounds of Bradgate Park. Performance starts from 11am. Tickets from £10 or a family for £45. Dog-friendly seating available.

Twelfth Night, Moira Furnace Museum and Country Park, 22 July

Outdoor theatre on wheels! Enjoy a bicycle-powered, laugh-out-loud production of Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night. There’s drunkenness, frivolity and cross-dressing a plenty in this much-love Shakespeare classic. Oh, we love the sound of it already! Tickets £18 and under 10s free. Tickets avail on the door for £19.

The Green Knight, Moira Furnace Museum and Country Park, 24 Aug

A raucous tale based on the Arthurian legend. Join the young Gawain as he journeys across ancient Britain, in search of the greatest sword-master of all time, Sir Bredbeddle, The Green Knight. 2pm performance and tickets from £10, family ticket £30.

The Reluctant Dragon, Moira Furnace Museum and Country Park, 27 Aug

When a boy finds a dragon up on the Downs he’s not in the least surprised. He’s always known about the dragon cave, so it seems only right for a dragon to be living in it.  But this particular dragon is not a bit like the ones in fairy tales – this one writes poetry and doesn’t like fighting! A touching, sweet and funny tale of bravery, friendship and derring-do for all the family.

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