Monday 21 April 2014

Cheltenham Open-Air Theatre Festival

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Editor's Choice

Cheltenham’s annual Open-Air Theatre Festival is returning to Bacon Theatre's Tuckwell Amphitheatre for more alfresco drama, jazz, cinema under the stars and a whole heap of family fun.

The Tuckwell Amphitheatre at Cheltenham’s Bacon Theatre will be playing host to the Open-Air Theatre Festival once again in 2013, giving music lovers, drama fans, film buffs and families the perfect opportunity to pack deck chairs and picnics for a host of must-see events.

Celebrating its 10th birthday, organisers say audiences can look forward to celebrating sun drenched days and starlit nights in style, with gripping drama, sublime jazz, film and family fun lined up between Tuesday 16 to Saturday 27 July 2013.

On behalf of Bacon Theatre, Jess Waterman said: ‘The usual favourites have been included this summer, such as the ever-popular jazz evening with Peter Gill, Shakespeare staples from Rain or Shine and Heartbreak Productions, plus spirited offerings from the quirky Pantaloons and inventive Jenny Wren Productions.

‘Every year, the Open-Air Theatre Festival is like a highly entertaining theatrical reunion, and everyone’s invited!’

Set in an idyllic spot, the Open-Air Theatre Festival will once again be catering to an eclectic range of audiences all hoping for a fantastic evening of entertainment on a balmy summer’s evening.

Shaun of the Dead

Tuesday 16 July 2013 at 9.15pm

Launching the festival fortnight will be the first instalment in the Cinema Under the Stars series; Simon Pegg and Nick Frost’s stellar zom-com, Shaun of the Dead. Shaun, played by Pegg, is having a bad day, so decides to turn his life around by winning back his ex, reconciling his relationship with his mother and dealing with an entire community that has returned from the dead.

Dig out your best zombie outfits, pack a picnic of tasty flesh – chicken, of course – and bring your herd of undead down to the creepiest cinema in town. Tickets cost £6, £5 for concessions.

Romeo and Juliet

Wednesday 17 July 2013 at 7.30pm

Pack your camera, sunglasses and guide book and prepare for a trip of a lifetime with one of the most prestigious touring theatre companies in the country, Heartbreak, in the magnificent setting of the open-air theatre.

Infusing thrills and dynamism, masks, dance, blades, potions and poetry with a modern twist, Heartbreak maintains all the intensity of Shakespeare’s timeless romance that follows two innocent young lovers, who fall victim to family hatred and cruel destiny. Tickets cost £13, £11 for concessions.

Sherlock Holmes

Thursday 18 July 2013 at 7.30pm

How can one open-air show with just four actors possibly contain so much action and adventure? The answer is elementary, my dear!

This delightfully inventive and hilarious show promises to be a hit with all ages, featuring live music, audience interaction and more mystery than you can shake a magnifying glass at.

The critically-acclaimed Pantaloons theatre company returns to Cheltenham’s renowned open-air theatre to put dynamic detective duo Holmes and Watson through their paces as they tackle their most fiendish case yet. Tickets cost £13, £11 for concessions.


Friday 19 July 2013 at 7.30pm

Heartbreak’s potent and passion-filled adaptation of Bram Stoker’s iconic gothic novel does away with the melodrama and offers a subtle, atmospheric and evocative evening for horror fans across the county.

It tells the tale of a sinister individual, who, beneath a veneer of aristocratic charm, exercises malice and seduction in equal measure to destroy the lives of others. Organisers are promising a heady and absorbing open-air theatre experience for all who dare to step out on this summer’s eve. Tickets cost £13, £11 for concessions.

Dotty the Dragon

Sunday 21 July 2013 at 5pm

An irresistible combination of music, puppetry and lashings of audience participation awaits little ones aged between three and seven, in the form of Dotty the Dragon.

Dotty is a baby fire dragon who lives at the top of a mountain with her grumpy dad. In the village below, everyone fears for their lives as dragons eat children – or so they believe. But Dotty would never do that, so one day decides to pay the village folk a surprise visit they won’t forget in a hurry…

Offering the perfect family picnic adventure, this funny, heart-warming tale will have big and little kids alike falling in love with Dotty. Tickets cost £10, £7 for concessions.

The Sapphires

Tuesday 23 July 2013 at 9.15pm

The second in the Cinema Under the Stars series, The Sapphires, offers a triumphant celebration of youthful emotion, family and music for feel-good county locals.

Set in 1968, when there were protests, drugs and the shock of a brutal assassination happening across the globe, four young aboriginal sisters are discovered by a talent scout, played by Chris O’Dowd, who has a kind heart, very little rhythm but a very good knowledge of soul music.

Billed as Australia’s answer to The Supremes, Dave flies the girls to sing for American troops in Vietnam and audiences will witness the ups and downs they encounter along the way. Tickets cost £6, £5 for concessions.

The Comedy of Errors

Wednesday 24 July 2013 at 7.30pm

Local theatre troupe, Rain or Shine, makes its welcome return to the Open-Air Festival with a revival of its popular production of The Comedy of Errors.

Thought to be Shakespeare’s first play, this farcical comedy promises a feast of wit and humour, comprising reunions of lost children with parents, and husbands with wives, adventures and wanderings, and the ever-present threat of death. Fans of the Bard won’t want to miss this one. Tickets cost £13, £11 for concessions.

Brief Encounter

Friday 26 July 2013 at 7.30pm

Chairs, blankets, picnics, tissues and a good sense of humour are all required when Gloucestershire-based theatre company Jenny Wren Productions presents this brief but all-consuming affair of the most romantic kind.

Expect to be whisked off for meals out, cinema dates, messing about in boats and a good old British afternoon tea with lashings of cake – all played out in a railway station tea room under the rather nosy eyes of an ensemble of larger-than-life staff, armed with sparkling wit and a song or two. Tickets cost £11, £8 for concessions.

Jazz on a Summer’s Evening

Saturday 27 July 2013 at 7.30pm

Closing another sterling Open-Air Theatre Festival will be Cheltenham’s answer to Jools Holland, Peter Gill and friends, for a fantastic helping of cool jazz on a balmy summer’s eve.

Performing jazz, blues and boogie with affection and energy, Peter will be joined by saxophonist Graeme Budd and guest vocalist Joe Martin for an evening that’s once again expected to sell-out at lightning speed. Tickets cost £16.

Cheltenham Open-Air Theatre Festival 2013
Tuckwell Amphitheatre, Shelburne Road, Cheltenham, GL51 6HE
Tuesday 16 July 2013; Wednesday 17 July 2013; Thursday 18 July 2013; Friday 19 July 2013; Sunday 21 July 2013; Tuesday 23 July 2013; Wednesday 24 July 2013; Friday 26 July 2013; Saturday 27 July 2013
Times vary per specific event, see above for details.
Tickets range between £5 and £16 per specific event, see above for details.
(01242) 258002

© SoGlos

Thursday 02 May 2013

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