Music and theatre in Buckinghamshire - Summer 2017
PUBLISHED: 15:51 29 June 2017 | UPDATED: 16:01 29 June 2017
Warm afternoons and evenings draw us to stages across the county for unforgettable entertainment. Sandra Smith highlights some of the choices
Much Ado About Nothing
On the edge of Beaconsfield Old Town a three sided auditorium around a stage will transform Hall Barn estate into the perfect venue for one of Shakespeare’s most popular works, on this occasion the combined comedy and love story taking place in the Victorian era. Performances begin at 8pm each evening between 21 and 24 June with an additional 2pm matinee on the final day. Tickets: £17 - 24.
Shakespeare in Song
Chiltern Shakespeare Company bring their summer season to a close on Sunday, 25 June with an evening of music at Hall Barn. Sonnets, songs and soliloquies performed by three talented young operatic sopranos are sure to delight music lovers. Tickets: £25.
Greatest Hits Choir
You’ll be tempted to sing along to familiar hits at West Wycombe Park on Sunday 2 July (2.30pm) when the Greatest Hits Choir, led by Guildhall School of Music trained Carol Canning, entertains.
Un Ballo in Maschera
Verdi’s masterpiece comes to Winslow Hall Opera between 7 and 16 July. Riccardo is a leader loved by his people but surrounded by conspirators. He also nurses a secret shame: he adores Amelia, the wife of his closest friend and loyal minister, Renato. But when Renato interrupts a meeting between Amelia and Riccardo, he determines to join a conspiratorial plot to assassinate his master. The deed takes place at a masked ball but with his dying breath Riccardo forgives Renato and assures him of Amelia’s innocence.
Outdoor dining between acts is encouraged at Winslow Hall. There are a limited number of gazebos available for Friends of WHO, each including a table and 4 chairs for interval or pre opera picnic. These are allocated on a first come, first served basis, as there only a finite number of gazebos for each performance. More chairs are available upon request. Tickets: £75 – 95.
Pride and Prejudice
Jane Austen is at her wittiest with social comedy and sparkling repartee throughout Illyria’s colourful adaptation of this love story which remains a favourite. And what better backdrop than Cliveden which stands within 376 acres of National Trust parkland? There are two performances, both at 7pm, on Friday and Saturday, 25 and 26 August but book well in advance so as not to miss this gem of a story while admiring one of our most picturesque venues.
Tickets: £16.50 adult, £10 child.
This Charles Dickens novel is packed with unforgettable characters and strong imagery. The original locations may have been Kent and London but Claydon House’s West Terrace will be reinvented on Saturday, 1 July with a memorable performance (7.30pm start) by Chapter House Theatre Company. Tickets: £15 adult, £10 child, £44 group (2 adults, 2 children).
This classic Brontë tale includes heartache, tension and passion and is not to be missed! Chapterhouse Theatre Company has been performing under the stars for 17 years yet each and every play is fresh and compelling. Their latest production on Thursday, 20 July (7.30pm) promises to bring enduring romance to West Wycombe Park. Tickets: £15 adult, £10 child, £44 family (2 adults, 2 children).
The Comedy of Errors
What better backdrop for an evening’s outdoor entertainment than the lawns in front of Waddesdon Manor? To match the sumptuous setting, all male ensemble, The Lord Chamberlain’s Men, bring their magical and energetic performance, The Comedy of Errors, to this gorgeous National Trust property on Saturday, 22 July. The play begins at 7.30pm but allow time to be transported (by shuttle bus) from the car park. Al fresco meals are encouraged and don’t forget to provide your own chairs and suitable clothing.
The company will also perform Shakespeare’s classic comedy at West Wycombe Park on Wednesday, 16 August at 7.30pm. Oh, and be assured, shows continue regardless of the weather. Tickets: £18.50 adult, £10 child.
Shakespeare in the Park
Touring theatre company Illyria will showcase slapstick, puns and mistaken identity in their version of The Comedy of Errors, one of Shakespeare’s funniest plays. Add to the mix the beautiful location of Linford Manor Park near Milton Keynes and this could be the highlight of your summer. Ticketholders are welcome from 6.30pm so why not make the most of the evening with a pre performance picnic before professionals take to the stage at 7.30pm on Friday, 11 August? Tickets: £12 adult, £8 child, £32 family (2 adults and 2 children or 1 adult and 3 children).
Proms in Campbell Park
For the fifth year running Milton Keynes City Orchestra’s classical music will resonate throughout Campbell Park’s Amphitheatre. This concert, under the conductorship of Damian Iorio, includes well known favourites which are bound to appeal to all ages. This engaging event, which concludes with a fireworks display, kicks off at 8pm on Friday 18 August. However, gates are open from 6.30pm so take along a picnic, seating and whatever clothes suit the elements. Tickets: £19 adult, £9 child, £49 family.
Despite David Walliams’ reputation for delivering hilarious comic characters, his children’s book, Billionaire Boy, is proving a popular favourite so prepare for fun and adventure in this theatrical premiere. The outdoor adaptation of love, loss and friendship, is certain to interest anyone over the age of 7. Cliveden is the venue for the Thursday, 27 July, Heartbreak Productions’ performance which begins at 4pm. Tickets: £16.50 adult, £9 child.
The Secret Garden
Frances Hodgson Burnett’s popular story is aimed at young children yet for more than 100 years adults have also marvelled at this tale of rejuvenation, hope and inspiration. Cliveden provides the perfect setting. With a choice of two productions on Thursday, 24 August, 2.30pm and 6pm, this family production is appropriately enhanced by natural scenery. Tickets: £16.50 adult, £9 child.