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Best outdoor theatre in Oxfordshire this summer

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The Lord Chamberlain's Men: As You Like It

Outdoor theatre in Oxfordshire

Blankets and fold-up chairs at the ready; Oxfordshire is awash with outdoor theatre this summer. From light-hearted kid-friendly shows to popular classics that pack a punch, you’ve got plenty of outdoor theatre in Oxfordshire to pick from this year. Welcome to your concise guide to outdoor theatre in Oxfordshire for Summer 2022.

Summer art season at Berrybank Amphitheatre - the first-ever 500-seater Amphitheatre in Cotswolds to open

Summer at the Amphitheatre at Berrybank Park

14 June to 04 September
Amphitheatre at Berrybank Park

The Amphitheatre in Cotswolds will be home to an exciting new performing arts season from 14 June to 04 September. A rich and varied programme will launch the first-ever Cotswold Comedy Festival. Expect Jazz, Opera, Broadway and West End music, Outdoor Cinema, Family Events, Cabaret, and the Real Garden Festival – a day of outdoor discovery, ecology and music.

And with Shakespeare on bicycles, Illyria Outdoor Theatre’s flying Peter Pan and Opera Anywhere’s sing-along Pirates of Penzance, Shakespeare’s Globe on Tour’s production of Julius Caesar, along with The HandelBards’ bicycle-powered Twelfth Night and an exciting new version of A Midsummer Night’s Dream by The Duke’s Theatre Company later in the season, there’ll be something for everyone to enjoy.

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Discover more: Amphitheatre at Berrybank Park

The Three Musketeers at Oxford Castle & Prison

The Three Musketeers

16 & 17 June
Oxford Castle & Prison

First up at the Oxford Prison & Castle, Morgan & West present The Three Musketeers – A whimsy, wit, and (s)wordplay for the whole family. Sharpen your swords, lace up your boots, and stick a great big feather in your hat for this fun-for-all-the-family retelling of Alexandre Dumas’ novel.

Can the marvellous Musketeers retrieve the Queen’s prize diamonds? Will the nefarious Cardinal Richelieu get away with his dastardly scheme? Can three actors play fifteen characters in just about an hour?

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The Oxford Shakespeare Festival

The Oxford Shakespeare Festival 2022

20 June to 13 August
Oxford Castle & Prison

The Oxford Shakespeare Festival is back for its 12th year with three outdoor productions. There’s a dynamic and exciting production of Shakespeare’s greatest play – Hamlet – by BMH Productions from 20 June to 02 July. This will be followed by what is perhaps Shakespeare’s best-loved comedy – A Midsummer Night’s Dream – by Wild Goose Production from 04 to 31 July.

Expect great comedy and farce with music, song, dance and period costume. Finally, you’re invited to come and bear witness to the downfall of a King and the destruction of a Dynasty in King Lear by Siege Theatre Production from 01 to 13 August.

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Discover more: Plays & Drama

Much Ado About Murder at Wroxton Abbey

Much Ado About Murder

22 June
Wroxton Abbey, Banbury

Wander amongst the grottos, lawns and woodlands surrounding this stunning Jacobean manor house – the perfect setting for a murder mystery! This original murder mystery will set five suspects under the spotlight, and we will depend on the audience to find answers.

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Discover more: Wroxton Abbey

The Lord Chamberlain's Men: As You Like It - 01

The Lord Chamberlain’s Men: As You Like It

23 June
Waddesdon Manor, Aylesbury

The Lord Chamberlain’s Men – the all-male company with a history stretching back to William Shakespeare himself – invite you to join them this summer for the sparkling comedy, As You Like It, at Waddesdon Manor.

One of the UK’s finest touring theatre companies presents this great play as Shakespeare first saw it performed – in the open air, by an all-male cast and with Elizabethan costumes, music and dance.

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Discover more: Waterperry Gardens

A Midsummer Night’s Dream at Cogges Manor Farm

A Midsummer Night’s Dream

23, 24, 30 June & 01 July
Cogges Manor Farm, Witney

This popular comedy by Shakespeare focuses on magical mischief in the woods outside Athens as the King and Queen of the fairies cross paths whilst waiting to attend Duke Theseus’s wedding to Hippolyta. Add to this some run-away lovers, rehearsals for a play to be performed at the duke’s wedding and an ass, and you have the ingredients for a delightful evening of fun.

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Discover more: Cogges Manor Farm, Witney

The Lord Chamberlain’s Men – the all-male company with a history stretching back to William Shakespeare himself – invite you to join them this summer for the sparkling comedy, As You Like It, at Waddesdon Manor.

One of the UK’s finest touring theatre companies presents this great play as Shakespeare first saw it performed – in the open air, by an all-male cast and with Elizabethan costumes, music and dance.

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Discover more: Cogges Manor Farm, Witney

Shakespeare’s Globe on Tour: Julius Caesar / What’s on in Oxford and across Oxfordshire this July / The Oxford Magazine

Shakespeare’s Globe on Tour: Julius Caesar

19 to 24 July
Magdalen College School

Conspiracy to kill, public broadcast of cunning rhetoric, a divisive fight for greatness – Shakespeare’s Globe and award-winning Director Diane Page bring this startlingly relevant new production of the epic tragedy Julius Caesar to Oxford this summer. Ancient Rome has never felt closer.

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Discover more: Magdalen College School

Oxford Theatre Guild: The Tempest

Oxford Theatre Guild: The Tempest

19 to 30 July
Oxford University Parks

Oxford Theatre Guild is delighted to be back in the University Parks for their 2022 outdoor performances of William Shakespeare’s The Tempest. Witness the enchanted world of Prospera, Caliban, Ariel and Miranda in a natural outdoor setting in the Oxford University Parks.

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Rapunzel at Waterperry Gardens

Rapunzel at Waterperry Gardens

30 July
Waterperry Gardens

Escape into the open-air this Summer with Rapunzel – an exhilarating, heart-warming production about one girl’s longing to break free from her imposed lockdown and explore the world outside. With wicked witches, lovable trolls, a fairytale Prince and miles of golden hair, Rapunzel is the perfect breath of fresh air for all ages.

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The Three Musketeers at Waterperry Gardens

The Three Musketeers

06 August
Waterperry Gardens

Pack up a picnic, a low-backed chair or blanket and join Boxtree Productions in the open air for this show. This family-friendly musical will be an incredible mix of adventure, magical music, comical characters and swashbuckling sword fights.

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David Walliams’ Awful Auntie at Cornbury Park and Heath Farm Holiday Cottages

David Walliams’ Awful Auntie at Cornbury Park

10 August
Cornbury Park, Charlbury

Awful Auntie by David Walliams, adapted for the outdoor stage by Heartbreak Productions, is a truly thrilling tale. Owls, ghosts, chases, escapes, motorcycle rides, and tiddlywinks fill Stella’s days as she evades her menacing Aunt and saves the family home.

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Also on at Heath Farm Holiday Cottages on 11 August (view event)

Waterperry Opera Festival 2021

Waterperry Opera Festival 2022

12 to 20 August
Waterperry Gardens

2022 is an exciting year for Waterperry Opera Festival as they celebrate their 5th anniversary with a lively, heartfelt, and visionary eight-day open-air festival featuring 8 imaginative productions – from familiar much-loved productions to refreshing new projects – performed across the Waterperry Estate.

This includes revivals of their critically acclaimed productions of Mansfield Park (Dove) and Peter and the Wolf (Prokofiev). Headlining the festival are new productions of The Marriage of Figaro (Mozart) and Svadba ‘A Wedding’ (Ana Sokolović).

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Discover more: Classical Music, Opera & Ballet

Opera Anywhere’s HMS Pinafore at Heath Farm & St Mary the Virgin, Long Wittenham

Opera Anywhere’s HMS Pinafore at Heath Farm

13 & 14 August
Heath Farm Holiday Cottages

This is a tale of mismatched love across different social classes. Josephine is the captain’s daughter and has fallen for lowly sailor Ralph. Yet her father has other ideas – he has promised her to Sir Joseph Porter, the First Lord of the Admiralty. Will love prevail? Climb aboard to find out, and enjoy a feast of fun along the way. Hip hip, hooray!

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Discover more: Heath Farm Holiday Cottages

The Pirates of Penzance at Cogges Manor Farm / Outdoor theatre in Oxfordshire

The Pirates of Penzance

23 August
Cogges Manor Farm, Witney

The award-winning outdoor theatre company Illyria is re-staging their much-loved production of The Pirates of Penzance at Cogges Manor Farm. Packed with memorable and well-known Gilbert and Sullivan songs, it promises a unique blend of comedy, melodrama, and glittering wit.

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The Duke’s Theatre Company: A Midsummer Night’s Dream

The Duke’s Theatre Company: A Midsummer Night’s Dream

25 & 26 August
Broughton Castle, Banbury

“The course of true love never did run smooth”. This new, ambitious production by The Duke’s Theatre Company for Summer 2022, with live music, stunning design and theatrical magic, promises to delight audiences with Shakespeare’s most comic and celebrated fairy tale.

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Also on at The Amphitheatre at Berrybank Park on Wednesday 24 August, and New Barn Farm (Ditchey Estate), Chalbury on Thursday 27 and Friday 28 August



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