Dramatic outdoor theatre in Dorset this summer

A green lawn leads to the grey stone of Kingston Lacy mansion

Kingston Lacy - Credit: Lex McKee, Flickr

The summer is the perfect time to take in a show at one of these amazing locations.

All the world's a stage which means you don't just need to head to your local theatre in order to see some amazing plays and shows. Across the country, the summer weather allows for local landmarks and countryside spots to be taken over by actors. So grab a blanket, fill the picnic basket, and settle in for an afternoon or evening of pure drama.

Kingston Lacy

The beautiful grounds of Kingston Lacy are a prime spot for theatre when the sun shines. This summer you will be able to pick from three performances which will suit all tastes. The Lord Chamberlain's Men will be visiting on July 28th and performing their all-male rendition of As You Like It. August 4th will be a family-friendly musical of The Three Musketeers and finally adults and children can enjoy Illyria's production of Peter Pan on the August 18th.

Corfe Castle

Every Thursday during the summer, the National Trust will be hosting a different performance from a multitude of touring troupes from around the UK.  They promise something for everyone including Shakespeare and Cinderella.


Mapperton House

There will also be a handful of performances at what Country Life called "the nation's finest manor house". Kicking off the summer is a treat for all musical-lovers. West End star Alison Carter will be performing a range of classics on July 10th including all your favourites. A week later on July 17th, it will be the turn of Shakespeare in the Garden where Castle Theatre Company will perform the hilarious Comedy of Errors. Finally, Kick In The Head productions are back with a rip roaring barrel of fun, Three Men in a Boat, on August 21st.


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Highcliffe Castle

Highcliffe will come alive in the evenings throughout the summer with several different shows to enjoy. Families can delight in the Tales of Peter Rabbit, David Walliams' Awful Auntie, and more. There will also be plenty of Shakespeare to go around with performances of Twelfth Night and Much Ado About Nothing. 


Brownsea Theatre

One of the biggest theatrical projects in the south, the annual production is set on The National Trust's Brownsea Island in Poole Harbour. It's a truly remarkable place to take in a show and this summer they will be performing Twelfth Night for two and half weeks so you will have plenty of opportunities to see this excellent tale from the Bard.


Athelhampton House

Last, but by no means least, the fine Tudor Home of Athelhampton will be hosting Heartbreak Productions. They have been touring for thirty years, bringing Shakespeare with a twist to people across the UK. On July 21st, they will be performing Much Ado About Murder, an unusual spin on the classic where the audience will have to find the clues and solve a crime.