10 of the best open air productions in Buckinghamshire - summer 2015
PUBLISHED: 17:00 17 June 2015 | UPDATED: 17:00 17 June 2015
Summer’s here and over the next three months you can fill afternoons and evenings with picnics, champagne and fun-filled entertainment at open air productions
The Taming of the Shrew - 10 – 13 & 17 to 20 June, (opens 6pm for 8pm start)
Hall Barn, Beaconsfield
There are also matinees on Saturdays, 13 and 20 June starting at 2pm, with the grounds open for picnics at midday. Student Lucentio arrives in Padua and hears that the merchant Baptista has two daughters, but the younger, prettier daughter, Bianca, cannot be married before her strong-willed sister. On seeing Bianca, Lucentio falls in love with her and changes identities with his servant, Tranio. You can imagine the family ups and down that ensue.
Tickets start from £16, and £13 for concessions. See www.chiltern-shakespeare.co.uk or call 08700 667720.
Death in Venice - 21, 23, 27 June & 1, 4, 10 July, 6pm
Garsington Opera, Wormsley
Mysterious Venice holds an eternal fascination for ailing writer Gustav von Aschenbach. Arriving there to recuperate, he becomes obsessed with a young boy,
Tadzio. He never speaks to him but the boy comes to represent a youth that can never again be his. Initial detached interest becomes all-consuming while a cholera epidemic rages.
Benjamin Britten’s last opera, based on the Thomas Mann novella, will be conducted by Steuart Bedford. Tickets vary from £30 to £140, so look and book online at www.garsingtonopera.org or call 01865 361636. Garsington Opera is also hosting Intermezzo by Richard Strauss in June and July.
Private Fears in Public Places - 26 to 28 June
The Little Theatre, Chesham
This 2004 Alan Ayckbourn play follows a few days in the lives of six characters, in interwoven stories through 54 scenes. It’s being performed as supper theatre by the Chesham Theatre Company on Friday and Saturday, but on Sunday it starts at 1pm for 1.30pm. Take along a picnic for that one. Tickets cost £10 and for an additional £5 you can add picnic food and drink. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 07938 050731.
A Midsummer Night’s Dream - 4 July, 7.30pm
Claydon House, Middle Claydon
Chapterhouse Theatre Company presents Shakespeare’s romantic comedy. Travel to the most magical of forests and meet star-crossed lovers, playful fairies and travelling players. Expect beautifully designed Elizabethan costumes, a new musical score and enchanting woodland puppet creatures. Tickets cost £15.40 for adults, £11 for children and £44.94 for a family ticket. Book at www.chapterhouse.org.uk or call 0844 2491895.
The Taming of the Shrew - 18 July, 7.30pm
West Wycombe Park
As well as the showdown between a woman who suffers no fools and a loud-mouthed show off, there’s the sub-plot of poor old Christopher Sly found drunk in front of an alehouse. A local noble has his men dress Sly in finery and treat him as a lord. A troupe of actors arrives to present a play for him. Tickets cost £16 for adults and £12 for children. Call 0844 2491895 and see www.nationaltrust.org.uk.
Dr Longitude’s Marvellous, Imaginary Menagerie - 24 July
Stowe, near Buckingham
An exotic caravan is in town, complete with strange characters that entertain, amuse and beguile. Here you can find out how many legs a ‘Decapus’ has, if the fabled ‘Massive Paw’ is just a myth and whether you have even seen a ‘Bumbewasp’. Dr Longitude and his players have all the answers. Call 0844 249 1895.
Treasure Island - 7 August, 6pm
Waddesdon Manor, Aylesbury
Featuring a cast of just three actors playing all the characters - including the infamous Long John Silver - this show by the critically-acclaimed Pantaloons Theatre Company will thrill audiences of all ages. Take along a picnic and suitable clothing, just in case the weather isn’t quite as clement as hoped. To book, call 01296 653226 or visit www.thepantaloons.co.uk.
Marty Macdonald’s Farm - 8 August, 11am, 1.30pm & 3.30pm
Hughenden Manor, High Wycombe
It’s Pongo’s Party, especially for children aged three to seven years, featuring the voices of CBeebies’ Justin Fletcher and Nicole Davis as Pongo the Pig and Molly-Moo the Cow. Children can take part in a huge game of pass the parcel and join the largest children’s band in town. Tickets are £10 each, call 01494 755573.
Twelfth Night - 22 August, 7.30pm
West Wycombe Park
Shakespeare’s tale of love laughter and mischief, performed by the all male cast of The Lord Chamberlain’s Men. Tickets are £16 for adults and £12 children on 0844 249 18 95 or see www.nationaltrust.org.uk.
Pride & Prejudice - 29 August, 6pm
Jane Austen’s witty and delightful story is one we can enjoy time and again as the Bennet girls find themselves in a tangle with various suitors. This version gets the full Pantaloons treatment in an innovative new adaptation.
To book, call 01296 653226 or visit www.thepantaloons.co.uk