Eight of the Best Outdoor Theatres in the UK

Eight of the Best Outdoor Theatres in the UK

Where better to spend your evening sipping on prosecco whilst watching Macbeth and listening to the sounds of the Atlantic Ocean? Perched high above a gully with a rocky outcrop, the Minack Theatre is Cornwall’s most famous theatre.


to royal parks, these are eight of the best places to
make like the Elizabethans and enjoy in a spot of alfresco theatre
. In characteristically British fashion, the show tends
to go on come rain or shine – and there’s nothing like a bit of
weather-induced pathetic fallacy for added drama.

Shakespeare’s Globe


Metres away from the original Globe Theatre, the heart of the
somewhat seedy entertainment district in the 17th century, this
faithful reconstruction of the open-air playhouse is not only a
history lesson but also hosts some of the most exciting productions
in London. You may have been forced to reenact Romeo and Juliet on
a blustery stage on a school trip way back when, but we recommend
revisiting for happier memories.

Regents Park Open Air Theatre


One of the largest auditoria in London is also the oldest
professional outdoor theatre in Britain. Tucked in the middle of
Regent’s Park, the iconic playhouse is only open from May through
to September. This year, the season combines populist classics with
musicals and children’s theatre towards the latter half of the
summer. Directed by multiple Olivier Award-winner Timothy Sheader
and featuring the English National Opera, their adaption of Henry
James’ The Turn of the Shrew is a blissful way to pass a summer
evening in the city.

Minack Theatre


It doesn’t get much better than drinking rosé while watching
Macbeth against the backdrop of Atlantic Ocean. Perched high above
a gully with a rocky outcrop and seagulls swopping overhead, the
Minack is a quintessentially British endeavour. Surrounded by
glorious gardens with a panoramic view of the Cornish seas, every
year the theatre puts on a full programme of drama, musicals,
opera, comedy and story-telling. This year, the one to watch is
Jessica Swale’s adaption of Jane Austen’s Sense and

Hever Festival Theatre


Set among the magnificent gardens of Hever Castle, this theatre
celebrates history and the arts with shows to suit all ages. The
top billing for 2018 is West End hit One Man, Two Guvnors, though
our inner children are eyeing up an alfresco Peter Pan. Pack a
picnic and head to the Two Sister’s Lawn Garden for an aperitif to
start things right. With both matinee and evening performances,
choose between working on your tan or cosying up in a blanket, safe
in the knowledge that there are awnings if necessary.

Woburn Estate


For one night only, the Lord Chamberlain’s Men bring you an
all-male performance of The Tempest in the striking gardens of
Woburn Estate. Throughout the summer, this historic house on the
border of Buckinghamshire and Bedfordshire offers a myriad of
events, including aviation shows and gardening workshops. But The
Tempest is one of the finest on the programme, retelling the
Shakespearean tale of the Duke of Milan exiled onto a mystical
island where he is left to brood with his daughter Miranda. Guests
enjoy the performance from the lawn, so pack a blanket for
grass-stain-free lounging. The show is also available at Chatsworth

Beaulieu Abbey


In cloisters of Beaulieu Abbey an open-air production delivered
by the prestigious Castle Theatre Company from the University of
Durham presents one of Shakespeare’s wittiest comedies, Twelfth
Night. For three evenings during mid-July, this classic tale of
love and confusion can be enjoyed from the grounds of the
13th-century Cistercian Abbey. The setting eludes a rustic elegance
of ruins and gardens, which assemble to create a glorious backdrop
transporting you into Shakespearean epoch.

Hatfield House


Situated in tranquil parkland with panoramic views of Hatfield
House, Chapterhouse Theatre Company offers guests a trip down the
rabbit hole to peak at Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. Vivacious
with original music and colourful characters, and located in a
naturally shaped grass bowl known as the Elephant Dell, this lively
performance is presented in beautiful Victorian costume. Later in
the summer, performances include Robin Hood and His Merry Men, The
Importance of Being Earnest and Treasure Island.

Holkham Hall


Holkham Hall is perhaps the greatest summer spot to watch
contemporary comedy and drama in an outdoor environment. Welcoming
renowned theatre companies, expect nostalgic showings of The
Railway Children and The Adventures of Dr Dolittle alongside
Shakespearean classics. Pairing the grandeur of an impressive
18th-century stately home with theatre for the entire family, go
for lunch at The Victoria then head to the nearby beach (featured
in Shakespeare in Love) for a something-for-everyone day out.

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