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All the world’s a stage! The best outdoor theatre in Norfolk

Picnic hampers and fold-up chairs at the ready: it's outdoor theatre season! You've got your pick this year, from kid-pleasing fairy tales to Sci Fi classics. Here are the best to book now.

Holkham Estate, Holkham

This sweeping estate on the North Norfolk coast is hosting a range of outdoor productions in its lovely walled garden this summer.

Top family picks include Cinderella on 9 August and Rapunzel on 31 August, while a performance of Peter Pan on 2 August promises to be the first ever to feature “real” flying – the mind can only boggle!

Mannington Gardens, Mannington

Spot the next theatrical superstar in the making when this pretty country house estate shows a production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream by Aylsham High School pupils on 10 and 11 July.

The gardens will also feature a Rain or Shine Theatre production of The Recruiting Officer, an early 18th century Irish romp, on 20 August.

Norwich Cathedral, Norwich

Theatrical backdrops don’t get much more spectacular than the cloisters of Norwich’s medieval cathedral. It’s Shakespeare Festival on 8-9 July will see all-male theatre company The Lord Chamberlain’s Men performing Shakespeare comedy As You Like It in the open air.

Westacre Theatre, West Acre

This thriving year-round theatre in the West Norfolk countryside is under canvas, so you can appreciate its al fresco theatrics without any worry about getting wet!

Our top pick this summer is their production of Pippin, an award-winning musical from the creator of Wicked, which will be hitting the outdoor auditorium between 18-27 August.

You can also order yummy summer picnics to nibble while you watch – including the likes of fresh strawberries with cream and lavender shortbread. Glorious stuff!

The Pantaloons, various Norfolk locations

Brilliantly silly and anarchic theatre company The Pantaloons will be bouncing around multiple different Norfolk locations this summer.

Its fabulously wild production of the HG Wells science fiction classic The War of the Worlds will visit the orchard at indie shopping haven Dalegate Market, on 1 July, stunning Sheringham Park on 2 July, broadland gem How Hill House on 3 July and various other local hotspots.

In more of a summer Shakers mood? Check out its adaptation of Much Ado About Nothing, which will be touring Norfolk venues in August.

Hoveton Hall Estate, Hoveton

We can’t think of a sweeter spot to catch some en plein air drama than the colourful grounds at Hoveton Hall. Arrive early before Drama Impact‘s production of The Taming of the Shrew on 23 July, in the lush rose garden, and your ticket price will include entry into the rest of the gorgeous gardens.

The regency hall, located very near the Norfolk Broads, will also host an amazing double bill by DOT productions on 14 August – featuring The Jungle Book followed by Pygmalion. Brava!

The Sandringham Estate, Sandringham

Sandringham

The Queen’s country estate will be welcoming music-driven theatre company Three Inch Fools with their fast-paced production of Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night on 11 June.

Later this summer, the The Chapterhouse Theatre company will be hosting a couple more fantastic nights out in the wonderful grounds of the huge estate – Pride and Prejudice on 5 August and Cinderella on 11 August.

From Lizzie Bennet to Queen Liz – we’re guessing HRH won’t be perched on a beanbag for the performance. But, you never know….she might just be visiting her royal Norfolk residence at the same time as you’re there.

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