National Trust opens its doors to outdoor theatre

The National Trust has unveiled a busy summer programme of outdoor theatre performances at many of its historic properties.

Audiences are encouraged to bring a picnic hamper to enjoy the performances, which range from comedies to Shakespeare and family-friendly shows.

The venues will also host big-screen cinema showings as well as live music performances in the properties’ gardens and parkland.

In Dorset, Corfe Castle, will host The Pirates of Penzance (July 13), and Kingston Lacy will stage The Merchant of Venice (July 26), The Tempest (August 2) and Treasure Island (August 7).

In neighbouring Devon, Killerton will be staging Pride and Prejudice (July 12), and visitors to Castle Drogo can watch The Hound of the Baskervilles (August 5).

Dunster Castle in Somerset will host Hamlet (August 18) and Mottisfont in Hampshire will be showing The Importance of Being Earnest (July 23).

Wind in the Willows will be performed at Morden Hall Park, London (August 3-6), and Emmetts Garden, Kent, will feature The Tempest (August 16).

Also in Kent is Scotney Castle, which will be staging The Railway Children, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Pride and Prejudice and The Reluctant Dragon on selected dates.

Belton House, Lincolnshire, will stage Little Women (July 7) and visitors to Kedleston Hall, Derbyshire, can see an adaptation of Robin Hood (June 22).

Attingham Park, Shropshire, will be showing The Importance of Being Earnest (July 27); and Shugborough, Staffordshire, will host Sense and Sensibility (August 8) while Gibside, Tyne and Wear, will stage Alice in Wonderland (August 8).

Outdoor theatre picture: National Trust Images/David Levenson.