12 Dorset Open-Air Theatre Performances

Join Slapstick Picnic for The Importance of Being Earnest

Join Slapstick Picnic for The Importance of Being Earnest where you can have your cake and throw it! - Credit: Rah Petherbridge Photography

HMS Pinafore: Nothe Fort, Weymouth’s magnificent Victorian sea, is the very appropriate nautical setting for Opera Anywhere’s energetic and accessible version of Gilbert and Sullivan classic tale of mismatched love across different social classes. Climb aboard to find out if love prevails on the high seas and on shore in this musical feast of fun. July 16, 7pm. Book at dorchesterarts.org.uk 

HMS Pinafore is staged om the nautical surroundings of Nothe Fort, Weymouth

HMS Pinafore is staged om the nautical surroundings of Nothe Fort, Weymouth - Credit: Opera Anywhere

The Grimm Sisters: Forget the Brothers Grimm, it’s their clever sisters Brunhilda and Mitzi who are the true brains behind these fairytales, but their beastly brothers have stolen their thunder, so the sisters are on the warpath. Join Scratchworks Theatre for twisted tales and magical frogs. Suitable for 6+. Pre-booking essential. July 16, 6pm at Gillingham School Field (01747 833844); July 17, 2pm & 5pm at Blandford School Field (01258 480698) artsreach.co.uk 

The Grimm Sisters are on the warpath!

The Grimm Sisters are on the warpath with their brothers! - Credit: Matt Austin Images

Circus Around & About: Extraordinary physical skill, humour and storytelling combine in this double bill of jaw-dropping circus for all the family. Tilly Lee-Kronick is an outstanding aerialist who performs static trapeze. While Pirates of the Carabina are award-winning circus artists, acrobats and musicians. Suitable 5+. July 16, 6pm. Yetminster Sports Club (01935 873546); July 23, 6.30pm, Broadmayne Recreation Ground (07443 659912); August 26, 6.30pm Litton Cheney Hall Field (01308 482661) artsreach.co.uk 

Pirates of the Carabina, part of the Circus and About outdoor performance 

Pirates of the Carabina, part of the Circus and About outdoor performance - Credit: Paul Blakemore

Antigone: Sisata Outdoor Theatre Company’s modern adaptation of Sophocles’ Greek tragedy introduces us to a young woman with a challenging family dynamic. Infusing Ancient Greek theatrical techniques with a comedic Greek chorus, Antigone’s story plays out in stunning locations including Dorchester’s Roman Town House on July 22. Other venues include: July 17, Museum of East Dorset, Wimborne; July 24- 26, Prince Albert Gardens, Swanage; September 23-24 Lighthouse Poole. Book at sisata.co.uk 

The Importance of Being Earnest: Slapstick Picnic invite you to a rather wild(e) tea party in the garden, where the entirety of Oscar Wilde’s classic play of manners, affairs and handbags is performed by two rather dashing entertainers. Have your cake and throw it, as they celebrate the silliness of theatre. July 18, Larmer Tree Gardens; July 21, Bridport Millenium Green. July 28, Marine Theatre, Lyme Regis; July 29, Maumbury Rings, Dorchester. Book at slapstickpicnic.com 

The Importance of Being Earnest has a wild(e) reboot with Slapstick Picnic 

The Importance of Being Earnest has a wild(e) reboot with Slapstick Picnic - Credit: Rah Petherbridge Photography

Shakespeare in Mapperton Garden: Durham University’s Castle Theatre Company perform Shakespeare’s All’s Well That Ends Well in the surroundings of Mapperton’s award-winning garden. July 18, 2pm & 5pm. Book at mapperton.com

Geoffrey Chaucer's Canterbury Tales: Cornish actor David Mynee channels his inner medieval man as he invites you to join him in the beer garden at ‘The Canterbury’, an Olde English Inn for some bawdy stories from his 1387 road trip. Suitable 12+. July 23, 7.30pm Cerne Abbas Vicarage Gardens (07823 778758); July 24, 2pm & 6pm Powerstock Hut Terrace (01308 485730); July 25, 2pm Morden Village Hall Field (01929 459217) artsreach.co.uk 

Join David Mynne for a bawdy 1387 road trip in The Canterbury Tales 

Join David Mynne for a bawdy 1387 road trip in The Canterbury Tales - Credit: Cosmic Xposure

The Elves & The Shoemakers: The race is on to save the Shoemakers shop from going out of business and to remind humans of the joy of dancing. This new show from Dorset’s own Treehouse Theatre embraces themes of kindness and neighbourliness. Suitable 3+. July 24, 11am & 2pm Amphitheatre, Lighthouse Poole (01202 280000); August 4, 3pm Nether Compton Recreation Ground (01935 815033); August 7, 11am Alderholt Village Hall Field (07709 933652) artsreach.co.uk 

Macbeth: The Lord Chamberlain’s Men, the UK’s premier all male theatre company, present Shakespeare’s brilliant and bloody tragedy against the stunning outdoor backdrop of the National Trust’s Kingston Lacy, near Wimborne. July 29, 7pm. Book at tlcm.co.uk

Discover the curious tale of the Cerne Giant 

The Three Musketeers: Sharpen your swords, lace up your boots, and stick a great big feather in your hat, Morgan & West present a fun for all the family retelling of Alexandre Dumas’ thrilling adventure. Join their cavalcade of whimsy, wit, and swordplay on Bridport’s Millennium Green. July 29, 2pm & 7pm Book at bridport-arts.com

King Arthur gets the Last Baguette treatment

King Arthur gets the Last Baguette treatment - Credit: Robert Auckland

King Arthur: The Last Baguette’s anarchic re-telling of the Arthurian Legend with live music, physical comedy and lo-fi acrobatics combined with daring knights and wacky wizards. Suitable 5+. July 31, 2pm Stalbridge Village Hall (01963 362978); August 1, 2.30pm Maumbury Rings, Dorchester (01305 266926) artsreach.co.uk   

PaddleBoat Theatre are wondering about all the Rustles in the woods in their latest performance 

PaddleBoat Theatre are wondering about all the Rustles in the woods in their latest performance - Credit: Peter J Norris,2016

Rustle: This interactive family adventure from PaddleBoat Theatre, set in the great outdoors, is jam-packed with puppets, songs and surprises. A lovely holiday treat for younger theatre fans where they will hear the best campfire stories ever told. Suitable 3+.  August 1, 11am Winterbourne Valley First School (01305 889738)/ 4pm Gaggle of Geese, Buckland Newton (01300 345455) artsreach.co.uk    

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