Cotswolds Distillery, home to the award-winning gin and whisky, is celebrating the spirit of summer by launching a new outdoor entertainment programme, ‘Alfresco at the Distillery’.
Cotswolds Distillery has teamed up with Cotswolds-based producers, Hambletts to create a dazzling programme of summer entertainment, comedy, arts and music, which runs from 01 July to September.
Hambletts devised and created Red Sky at Sunrise, the best-selling show celebrating Laurie Lee, performed by Anton Lesser, Charlie Hamblett and Orchestra of the Swan, which sold out in the Cotswolds last summer and sold out (again!) at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre, Stratford upon Avon on 31 May, opening the Live at the RSC Festival, as well as events for the Coventry City of Culture, Also festival and the National Trust, among others.
Highlights include the first-ever Cotswolds Distillery Comedy Festival (06 to 08 July), featuring three days of comedy with some of the nation’s finest talent, including Lucy Porter, Hal Cruttenden, Stephen Bailey, Nabil Abdulrashid, Amy Gledhill, Terry Alderton, and Zoe Lyons.
Juliet Russell, vocal coach on Michael McIntyre’s Big Show and The Voice, will lead an uplifting, inclusive Choir-in-a-Day on 01 July.
Believing everyone can sing, Juliet will celebrate the joy of making music together with an opportunity to learn contemporary vocal and performance skills, and there will be a chance to perform live alongside Juliet with the top band, Family Funk (who formed for the Prince of Wales’s birthday!) in a fabulous Summer Soul concert the same evening.
Chipping Norton Amateur Astronomy Group, who helped obtain Dark Sky status for their observing base at The Rollrights ancient monuments, are leading a Stargazing Live event for all the family as the late summer skies clear.
There is outdoor theatre, with The Duke’s Theatre Company’s magical Twelfth Night and Opera Anywhere’s joyful, Carry On-inspired version of The Mikado (with a chance to join their ‘Come and Sing Chorus’), and a gorgeous, multi-media/music/puppetry version of The Ugly Duckling for the whole family.
And for one night only, the distillery will transform into a New York prohibition-era Speakeasy, with secret bar, dancing, entertainment, and lashings of razzle-dazzle.
Cotswolds Distillery has always championed the Cotswolds landscape and its people, makers, producers, and artists, which blend together in The Real Garden Festival on 29 July.
This family-friendly festival celebrates gardens, nature and the environment, discovering how we can all make a positive difference through small changes.
The day features garden writers Rekha Mistry, Alice Vincent and Becky Searle, Garden Organic, FarmEd, Whichford Pottery, botanicals masterclasses with the distillery, live music, artists, crafts, bees, foraging walks, campfire crooning, and an Insect Game Show…
Alfresco events will take place in the meadow at the distillery in the beautiful village of Stourton, near Chipping Norton. You can bring your own food, and delicious food will be available to pre-order, and there is a full range of the distillery’s multi-award winning spirits, with cocktails, wine, local cider, beers and soft drinks.
Producer Judy Reaves, who is curating Alfresco, says: ‘Everything Cotswolds Distillery does is lovingly crafted, and this is the spirit of ‘Alfresco at the Distillery’. Together, we are making a heady mix of live music, theatre, and comedy, with top notes of sharing, creativity and community – and a huge dash of enjoyment and fun!’
Dan Szor, the founder of Cotswolds Distillery, said: “We can’t wait to welcome visitors to our distillery this summer for an exciting programme of events with the backdrop of the beautiful Cotswolds and paired, of course, with our delicious spirits.”