The summer 2017 outdoor summer theatre programme at Hartland Abbey

Set against the backdrop of this wonderful historic house, the 2017 productions promise to keep theatregoers of all ages and tastes well rewarded with some fantastic productions from different travelling theatre companies. 

It is a perfect reason to get together with family and friends, bring rugs or picnic chairs and enjoy a night under the stars! Many people make a longer day out visiting the fascinating house with its beautiful gardens and a leisurely lunch or tea in the Old Kitchens Tea Rooms before the performance begins. There is a Bar and a delicious barbecue at every performance so there is no need to bring a picnic unless you would like to. 

Grounds open free to those attending performances 1 hour before start of 5pm shows, 2 hours before 7pm shows. Bring rugs/low backed seating/picnics. Refreshments. Bar. Barbecue, Ice creams. Cream teas before 5pm shows. Please contact the Plough booking office direct on 01805 624624 or online via:

See for further details.

26th Jul, 5pm, Hartland Abbey Outdoor Summer Theatre: The Lost World by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (7yrs+), plus Family Arts Afternoon (2 – 4.30pm) Hartland Abbey. Prices £13/11/9 and Arts Afternoon £2.50. Four intrepid explorers, led by the redoubtable Professor Challenger, travel to an uncharted plateau in South America following a few scant directions scribbled in a sketch book. Illyria has an unmatched reputation for innovation in open-air theatre, where they are the first company to tackle a show in this genre and of this scope. Prehistoric thrills, monster laughs and life-size dinosaurs abound in the must-see show of the summer!

27th Jul, 7pm, Hartland Abbey Outdoor Summer Theatre: Midsummer Night’s Dream, William Shakespeare, Hartland Abbey. Running time 120min. Prices £13/11/9. Midsummer night. An enchanted forest. Puck and his musical fairy band tell a tale of lovers, mechanicals, and magical mayhem. The critically-acclaimed Pantaloons present their innovative and hilarious open-air version of Shakespeare’s timeless comedy – told, as ever, in their own distinctive and anarchic style. 

2nd Aug, 5pm, Hartland Abbey Outdoor Summer Theatre: Billionaire Boy, by David Walliams, plus Family Arts Afternoon (2 – 4.30pm) Hartland Abbey. Running time 120min. Prices £13/11/9 and Arts Afternoon £2.50. Be a part of the fun this summer at Heartbreak’s outdoor adaptation of this charming David Walliams best selling children’s book. Come to the helicopter pad outside Bumfresh towers with your picnic, your seat, and your sense of adventure to hear the story of how Mr Spud made his millions and then lost it all, and how Joe became the richest boy in the world… 

11th Aug, 5pm, Hartland Abbey Outdoor Summer Theatre: The Emperor’s New Clothes by Hans Christian Anderson, plus Drama Workshop 6-11yrs (3 – 4.30pm) Hartland Abbey. Running time 120min. Prices £13/11/9 and Workshop £5. The Emperor is a lovely man, but he’s not the best judge of character. What keeps him sane is the monthly Grand Parade at which he wears his newest outfit. When two swindlers offer him the ability to identify competence by making him clothes which only the wise can see, what price will he have to pay? Will he end up losing his crown jewels? When someone spins a yarn must everyone be taken in? 

23th Aug, 7pm, Hartland Abbey Outdoor Summer Theatre: The Mikado by Gilbert and Sullivan, Hartland Abbey. Prices £15/13/9.Following the runaway popularity of HMS Pinafore, Iolanthe and The Pirates of Penzance, Illyria returns with another romantic summer opera to leave you with a song in your heart. 

28th Aug, 5pm, Hartland Abbey Outdoor Summer Theatre: The Merry Wives of Windsor by William Shakespeare, Hartland Abbey. Running time 120min. Prices £13/11/9.The roguish and foolish knight, Falstaff, schemes to woo two married women to get his hands on their husbands’ money, but the wiley Wives of Windsor are more than a match for him! The Festival Players Theatre bring you this hilarious and colourful comedy in an all-male, fast paced, costumed production – a summer feast of farce!

The summer 2017 outdoor summer theatre programme at Hartland Abbey