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Open Air Theatre in Liverpool City Region for summer 2024


Summertime means only one thing – no, not rain, although there’s been plenty of that around during 2024, but open-air theatre.

Performances are popping up in parks, gardens and other outdoor spaces over the next two months to tickle theatregoers’ fancy.

So grab a chair or a picnic blanket, fill a bag or a hamper, slap on the sunscreen (but maybe pack a mac too) and indulge in a spot of live entertainment in the fresh air.

This summer Liverpool and the wider City Region is welcoming a host of popular returning theatrical troupes including The Lord Chamberlain’s Men, Illyria, The Handlebards and Folksy Theatre.

In addition, Wirral’s Off the Ground theatre is touring to multiple venues - including St Luke’s Bombed Out Church – with a new production of Much Ado About Nothing,

And there’s a busy programme planned in the Sir Ken Dodd Performance Garden at Shakespeare North Playhouse at Prescot.

Here’s a rundown of what you can see where in Liverpool, Knowsley, Sefton, Wirral and further afield.

 

Speke Hall

A pair of shows come to the North Lawn at Speke Hall this summer.

On Wednesday, July 24 there’s the reappearance of the popular Pantaloons to Speke after last year’s fast-paced telling of Jane Austen’s Emma.

This time they are set to present Oscar Wilde’s ‘a trivial comedy for serious people’ The Importance of Being Earnest in what is being billed as an ‘energetic and musical production’.

To miss one Pantaloons performance may be regarded as a misfortune. To miss two looks like carelessness.

Happily then there’s a chance to catch two productions in one summer, with the Pantaloons returning on Saturday, August 3 with their madcap version of Shakespeare’s The Merry Wives of Windsor.

Full details and booking HERE

 

Garden Theatre at Calderstones

The Garden Theatre at Calderstones Mansion comes alive with music, magic and star-crossed lovers this summer.

Audiences are invited to bring a chair, while food – including freshly-made pizzas - and drinks are available on site.

The season opens on July 18 when award-winning open-air theatre company Illyria arrives with its production of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. The show was ‘critics’ choice’ at the Edinburgh Fringe and received five-star reviews in Canada.

Then on August 4, cycling theatre troupe The Handlebards peddle into the park to present The Comedy of Errors.

The summer season continues on August 13 with a new production of Hamlet by The Lord Chamberlain’s Men, which promises an all-male cast, Elizabethan costumes, music and dancing.

And Illyria pays a second visit to Calderstones on August 22 with a cheeky adaptation of Arthur Conan Doyle’s classic The Hound of the Baskervilles, with an evening of mystery and intrigue.

Full details and booking HERE

 

Bombed Out Church

Off The Ground Theatre is taking Shakespeare’s keen comedy Much Ado About Nothing on an open-air tour this summer including a date at St Luke’s on August 1.

The Wirral-based theatre company, which marks its 30th anniversary this year, is taking the production – directed by Ben Newman – across the North West and over to Ireland, with the Bombed Out Church its only Liverpool date.

Full details and booking HERE

 

Sir Ken Dodd Performance Garden, Shakespeare North Playhouse at Prescot

There’s a packed programme of performances planned for the Ken Dodd Performance Garden between now and September.

Cream-Faced Loons Theatre Company, known as The Loons, arrives at Shakespeare North on July 27 to perform Shakespeare – But Just the Deaths!

And Jennifer Reid, a performer of 19th Century Lancashire dialect and Victorian broadside ballads, returns on August 1 to present One Night in Prescot.

The season continues with The Pantaloons on August 2, who bring irresistible slapstick silliness to Shakespeare’s The Merry Wives of Windsor, while The HandleBards head for Prospero Place with The Comedy of Errors on August 6-7, and Shake-Scene Shakespeare makes its Prescot debut from August 15-17 with a double bill of As You Like It and Antony and Cleopatra.

Folksy Theatre brings Angela Sprockets Pockets to the venue on August 20-21, and Alas! Poor Yorick (August 22-24) is an entertaining excavation of work and political systems through the eyes of the gravediggers in Shakespeare’s Hamlet.

Four Forty Theatre is back with a British Summertime Shakespeare! Performing A Midsummer Night's Dream on August 27-28, with the Bard’s much-loved comedy being staged by four actors in 40 minutes. Or maybe an hour….

And finally, People Zoo Productions reconsider possibly Shakespeare’s most delightful romantic comedy from a different perspective in Much Adogberry About Nothing, coming to the performance garden from August 29-31.

Full details and booking HERE

 

Knowsley Hall

The Lord Chamberlain’s Men are celebrating their 20th anniversary in 2024 and pay their annual visit to Knowsley Hall this month - this time with Shakespeare’s great tragedy Hamlet.

The performance by the travelling troupe’s all male cast, dressed in traditional Elizabethan costumes, takes place on Wednesday, July 10 in Knowsley’s glorious gardens.

To go, or not to go? That is the question. The answer of course should be go!

Full details and booking HERE

 

Coronation Park Crosby/Crosby Hall

Award-winning outdoor theatre company Illyria comes to Crosby this month with a pair of shows on successive days.

Catch Shakespeare’s story of star-crossed lovers, Romeo and Juliet, in a passionate, poetic and gripping production at Coronation Park on Saturday, July 13.

And then on Sunday, July 14, Crosby Hall is the place to be for young audiences and their adults for Hugh Lofting’s timeless classic The Adventures of Doctor Doolittle, adapted for the stage by Oliver Gray.

Full details and booking HERE

 

Claremont Farm, Bebington

Those busy folk at Illyria arrive at Claremont Farm on July 25 with their touring production of The Adventures of Doctor Doolittle.

One day with the help of his wise old parrot Polynesia, Doctor Doolittle makes an extraordinary discovery – he can talk to animals!

As news of his unique talent spreads, animals from across the world send messages asking for his help. So he buys a leaky old ship and embarks on a thrilling quest.

Illyria also returns to Claremont Farm on August 29 with Romeo and Juliet.

Meanwhile Beatrice and Benedick bring their bickering to Claremont Farm on July 28 courtesy of Off the Ground theatre company.

Off the Ground’s summer tour also includes Queen’s Park in Meols on July 24, Birkenhead Priory on July 25, Future Yard at Birkenhead on July 30, Burton Manor on July 31, Royden Park on August 2-3 and Gordale Garden Centre in South Wirral on August 4.

Full details and booking HERE

 

The Dell at Port Sunlight

Folksy Theatre, which specialises in touring to rural areas across the UK, makes its annual popular visit to Port Sunlight in August.

Shakespeare’s pastoral comedy As You Like It will be staged in The Dell at the village on August 14.

Full details and booking HERE

 

And further afield…..

Grosvenor Park Open Air Theatre, Chester

A new stage adaptation from Kieran Lynn of Herbert Asbury’s The Gangs of New York runs from July 19-August 31

And the GPOAT company will also perform Oscar Wilde’s comedy of manners The Importance of Being Earnest from August 9-September 1

Full details and booking HERE

2 Comments


chapmansonia
11 hours ago

Wanderlust Theatre Company are presenting Twelfth Night in parks and gardens across the city this month :) We'll be at Reynold's Park on Sat 20th July and Waterloo Marine Gardens on Sun 21st July https://skiddle.com/g/wanderlust-theatre-company

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chapmansonia
11 hours ago
Replying to

We'd love to invite you Catherine, if you are available! :)

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