Upcoming outdoor summer theatre programme at Hartland Abbey

Hartland Abbey’s outdoor summer theatre programme promises to keep theatre-goers of all ages and tastes well rewarded with some fantastic productions from different travelling theatre companies.

The perfect reason to get together with family and friends – bring rugs or picnic chairs and enjoy a night under the stars! Bring your own picnic or treat yourself to something delicious from Mr Crackling’s Barbeque and a glass of Pimms, wine or maybe a local cider or ale from the onsite bar, and settle down to watch one of the many stunning performances on offer.  

Box Office 01805 624624 Tickets: £7 – £20. See the Hartland Abbey website for full details of the programme and facilities www.hartlandabbey.com or the Plough Arts Centre website for booking and more details: www.theploughartscentre.org.uk

Fri 10th July 7pm – Rude Mechanical Theatre ‘THE COMEDY OF BABI BABBETT’ Set in Islington in 1793 it is an out and out farce in the classic commedia dell’arte style and probably the funniest of all their plays.“Rich men are very attractive. There’s nothing so romantic as the creak in the moonlight of a chequebook opening.”

Sun 19th July 7pm – Illyria ‘IOLANTHE’ by Gilbert and Sullivan Gilbert and Sullivan’s most magical comic opera is set half in Fairyland, half in Westminster. Its surprisingly topical satire pokes fun at Love, Class and Politics – and on how people from different backgrounds form uneasy coalitions….  

Wed 29th July 1pm – FAMILY ARTS AFTERNOOMost activities free – small additional charge for some. All the family can try a wacky range of arts-related activities in the beautiful abbey grounds including a character treasure hunt, ‘through the portal’ story-making, willow sculpting, fancy dress races, kite making, nature frames, pottery, storytelling, drama, and many more. Stay on to see Mr Stink at 5pm!

Wed 29th July 5pm – Heartbreak ‘MR STINK’ by David Walliams  12 year old Chloe and the incredibly smelly, homeless Mr Stink forge an extraordinary and rewarding friendship that takes them to the heady heights of live television and Downing Street via a garden shed. An outdoor show packed with fun, humour and a heart-warming message, suitable for the whole family to enjoy together.

Thurs 30th July 8pm – JAZZ AT THE ABBEY -DIGBY FAIRWEATHER & TINA MAY ‘Swing’s the Thing’ direct from Ronnie Scott’s to Hartland Abbey! Ten-time winners of ‘Top Small Group’ in the prestigious British Jazz Awards, this all star group promises you an unforgettable evening of swinging sounds, latin jazz, and, for one night only, they are joined by special guest, Tina May, one of the most expressive and inventive jazz singers of the last 20 years.

Tues 11th August 5pm – Illyria ‘THE SORCERER’S APPRENTICE’ This version of Disney’s famous classic features the original music by Paul Dukas (as used in Fantasia); more water then you have EVER seen in a play before; and eye-popping magical illusions designed by the world famous illusionist Paul Daniels. Exciting, magical family fun for all ages 5+!

Tues 18th August 5 pm – Cambridge Theatre ‘ROBIN HOOD, THE MUSICAL’ An extremely funny and lively family show. Come and have a joyful, fun-filled time with your family as you watch this hilarious musical show full of zest and vim! Boys and girls are invited to come along dressed in their best Sherwood fashion. There is also a 45 minute drama workshop where your child can play theatre games with the actors. Age 5-10. Please check with the ticket office for workshop availability.

Tues 25th August 7pm – Illyria ‘THE THREE MUSKETEERS’ All for One, and One for All! Young D’Artagnan is desperate to join Athos, Porthos and Aramis as an elite Musketeer of the King’s Guard. To prove himself he plunges headlong into a thrilling adventure to restore the Queen’s honour, survive the machinations of scheming Cardinal Richelieu, race the clock to save the hapless Mme Bonancieux and cross swords with the deadly Milady de Winter. Set against a sweeping panorama of 17th century France at war, this production is a whirlwind of excitement, broad comedy and ingenious story-telling. Suitable 8+

Mon 31st August 7pm – Heartbreak ‘EMMA’ by Jane Austen In true Heartbreak style, the adaptation of Jane Austen’s ‘Emma’ is introduced and performed by a group of artists who tell the story in the hope that the Romantic nature of Austen’s writing inspires their portraiture and landscape skills.


Upcoming outdoor summer theatre programme at Hartland Abbey