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Enjoy Outdoor Theatre This Summer!

A series of open air theatre productions come to the Abbey Gardens, West Stow and National Trust Ickworth this summer!

Enjoy theatre in the fresh air with a series of outdoor productions this summer in the Bury St Edmunds area!

Open air productions of A Midsummer Night's Dream, Twelfth Night, Macbeth, The Merry Wives of Windsor, The Great Gatsby, Pride and Prejudice, Robin Hood, Wonder with Grimm and Mr Stink can be found at the Abbey Gardens, West Stow Country Park and National Trust Ickworth this summer.

Abbey Gardens

Twelfth Night

Join the Bury Theatre Workshop on 24 July for their open air production of William Shakespeare’s 'Twelfth Night' in the Abbey Gardens.

Twelfth Night tells the story of the Illyria twins Viola and Sebastian who have been separated and believe each other dead. Disguises, intrigue, and romantic entanglements ensue as Viola, disguised as a boy falls for her new master, Orsino, whilst his love Olivia falls for Cesario (aka Viola) and servant Malvolio also hankers after his mistress Olivia. Enter Sebastian who also falls for Olivia who returns his love believing Cesario and Sebastian to be one and the same. Confusing? Well... it'll all turn out alright in the end, we hope! 

Socially distanced designated picnic plots will be set up so bring a picnic and a chair! All children under 12 years to be accompanied by an adult.

Performances at 2pm and 7pm. Book your tickets now at https://www.whatsonwestsuffolk.co.uk/whats-on

The Great Gatsby

Join Heartbreak Productions and the Nick Carraway quartet for an evening of jazz, prohibition style for the open air production of The Great Gatsby on Sunday 29 August.

Nick is not only the band leader but a top-notch storyteller, and when he’s in the mood, he can take you back to the summer of 1922 when he lived next door to none other than the infamous Jay Gatsby.

Nick was working as a bond salesman in New York the summer he met the mysterious party-throwing millionaire. Before long, Nick finds out that Gatsby and his cousin Daisy (who conveniently lives nearby) used to be an item. Gatsby is still in love with Daisy, but Daisy is now married to the pretentious and unfaithful Tom.

So get your glad rags on, work up your best Charleston, and get your cocktail glass at the ready! Served up with a twist of iconic Heartbreak style, this outdoor adaptation of F Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby is the perfect way to mark 100 years since prohibition. 

Dress for the weather, bring a chair or blanket to sit on, and don’t forget the picnic and prosecco (now that prohibition has been lifted!).

The performance starts at 6.30pm. Book your tickets now at https://www.whatsonwestsuffolk.co.uk/whats-on

West Stow Country Park

Wonder With Grimm

Join Heartbreak Productions for an evening of enchanting storytelling full of magic, puppetry, and music, as they enter into the fantastical world of the Brothers Grimm with altered endings and a modern twist.

It’s Grimm Night and the forest spirits are wandering abroad. Never heard of the Grimm? It used to live in the Black Forest, but now travels through forests across the UK looking for children’s voices to steal. To prevent this spectre from taking our voices, we must tell it stories, so we gather together to re-tell the stories from whence it took its name - the fairy tales of the Brothers Grimm.

But you can’t just keep telling the same stories in the same way for hundreds of years, though. That would be very boring, and not very much like Heartbreak at all. So... what if Rapunzel escaped her tower? Or Snow White didn’t wake up?

Pack the picnic basket, dress for the weather and don’t forget to bring something to sit on as Heartbreak Productions invites you to Wonder with Grimm on Thursday 29 July. 

The performance starts at 6.30pm. Book your tickets now at https://www.weststow.org/whats-on. Suitable for ages 6+. All children must be accompanied by a full paying adult!

A Midsummer Night's Dream

Perfectly scripted for the outdoor stage, join Heartbreak Productions for Shakespeare’s most-loved comedy, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, like you’ve never seen it before!

A story of order and disorder, reality and appearance and love and marriage. The story follows a troupe of actors deep into the enchanted forest – a dream world of flying fairies, mistaken identities and love triangles.

The performance on Wednesday 18 August starts at 6.30pm. Book your tickets now at https://www.weststow.org/whats-on. Suitable for ages 7+. All children must be accompanied by a full paying adult!

Mr Stink

David Walliams’ best-seller Mr Stink is brought to life on the outdoor stage at West Stow Country Park.

Pack a picnic, grab a chair and dress for the weather. Packed with fun, humour and a heart-warming message, this touching tale provides the perfect family entertainment.

You’re invited to celebrate Annabelle’s 10th birthday, hosted by everyone’s favourite MP candidate, Janet Crumb! (Almost) everyone is welcome… that is, everyone apart from Chloe’s particularly smelly new friend, Mr Stink.

One perfectly normal afternoon in an average English town two restless souls unite on a park bench – one of them the lonely 12 year old Chloe Crumb and the other an incredibly smelly homeless man. Oh, and let’s not forget his loyal dog, the Duchess. Chloe’s curiosity and kindness pave the way for this extraordinary and rewarding friendship that takes them to the heady heights of live television and Downing Street via a garden shed.

The performance on Thursday 26 August starts at 6.30pm. Book your tickets now at https://www.weststow.org/whats-on . Suitable for ages 7+. All children must be accompanied by a full paying adult!


National Trust Ickworth

The Merry Wives of Windsor

Five actors, with all manner of musical instruments, present an inventive take on Shakespeare’s raucous comedy The Merry Wives Of Windsor

In this mischievous play, jealousy, disguise and seduction lead to hilarious and unexpected results. Prepare for a carnival of passion and imagination, as The Fools present this rip-roaring Shakespearean comedy, come rain come shine, in the great British outdoors! 

This Shakespearean classic will be getting the full Three Inch Fools treatment: live music-making, deft physicality and vibrant story-telling. Expect fast-paced drama, plenty of musical instruments and many a quick costume change along the way!

The performance takes place on Sunday 29th August. Book your tickets now: https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/ickworth/features/summer-entertainment-at-ickworth

Robin Hood

Five actors, with all manner of musical instruments, struggle to remember Britain’s best-known folktale. 

This summer, a hapless troupe of actors hit the road with a calamitous new production of Robin Hood

Prepare for a riotous summer adventure fit for all the family as The Fools battle to tell their own version of the legendary tale at some of the most beautiful and historic landmarks in the UK. 

The performance on Friday 2 July starts at 7pm. Book your tickets now: https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/ickworth/features/summer-entertainment-at-ickworth

Pride and Prejudice

It is a truth universally acknowledged that Jane Austen’s witty and romantic masterpiece is one of the best-loved stories of all time, dealing with the most important questions in life…

Will Mrs Bennett manage to offload her numerous daughters in record time? Will Lizzy and Darcy actually get together? Will creepy Mr Collins just go away please?

Join The Pantaloons this summer for this delightfully innovative and hilarious new open-air adaptation of Pride and Prejudice.

Please bring a picnic and something to sit on!

The performance on Wednesday 28 July starts at 6.30pm. Book your tickets now: https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/ickworth/features/summer-entertainment-at-ickworth

Macbeth

The Lord Chamberlain’s Men, the UK’s premier all male theatre company - with direct links to the history of William Shakespeare - invite you to join them this summer for the breathless and brilliant tragedy, Macbeth.

Emerging victorious and decorated in war Macbeth receives a thrilling pronouncement from three weird sisters who prophesy he will one day be King of Scotland. Overcome by ambition and driven on by his powerful wife, Macbeth murders the king and sets in motion a terrible sequence of events from which there is no turning back.

A play of supernatural magic, vaulting ambition and an examination of the dreadful consequences of the insatiable lust for power. With Shakespeare’s most chilling power couple and truly stirring poetry this stunning play will keep you gripped.

Bring a chair and a sun hat and prepare to be entertained and transported watching Shakespeare as he first saw it performed; in the open air, by an all male cast with Elizabethan costumes, music and dance. Book early to avoid missing out!

The performance on Sunday 22 August starts at 6.30pm. Book your tickets now: https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/ickworth/features/summer-entertainment-at-ickworth


If you're travelling why not stay overnight? There are lots of wonderful places to stay in Bury St Edmunds and Beyond! Check out our Places to Stay Guide.