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What’s on in 2024 at Stamford Shakespeare Company’s outdoor theatre at Tolethorpe Hall





Photos from a new season on the stage reveal the plays that will entertain thousands of people this summer.

Stamford Shakespeare Company at Tolethorpe is preparing three productions – but only one in this year’s selection was written by The Bard.

Alongside his ever-popular comedy A Midsummer Night’s Dream - this year adopting an Edwardian vibe – actors from across the area will perform in George Farquhar’s The Recruiting Officer and Jane Austen’s Sense and Sensibility.

A Midsummer Night's Dream's 'First Fairy' played by Dot Newton
A Midsummer Night's Dream's 'First Fairy' played by Dot Newton

Tickets ranging from £15.50 to £22.50 are on sale for each of the company’s productions, with the three opening nights on June 4, June 11 and July 2.

Actors aged from 16 to 22 will also have a chance to shine, with Tolethorpe Youth Drama’s cast performing A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness from July 29 to 31.

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The woodland backdrop of the outdoor theatre at Tolethorpe, less than a mile from Ryhall, provides an ideal backdrop for A Midsummer Night’s Dream. The play is family friendly, with the antics of the fairy king and queen, Oberon and Titania, and their impish servant, Puck, providing plenty of fun.

Sergeant Kite from The Recruiting Officer played by Matthew Robertson
Sergeant Kite from The Recruiting Officer played by Matthew Robertson

With its plot twists, love-triangles and cross-dressing, The Recruiting Officer is described as “a rollicking romp and the most popular play of the 18th Century” and follows the misadventures of womanising Captain Plume and his fellow officers as they arrive in the market town of Shrewsbury to recruit soldiers for the army. Sergeant Kite dresses as a fortune teller to trick young men into joining up, while Captain Plume falls for a woman who, disguised as a man, offers to enlist.

Sense and Sensibility is a romantic comedy following the financial hardship and social upheaval of the Dashwood sisters. Elinor embodies sense, displaying reason and restraint, while Marianne represents sensibility, exuding passion and impulsiveness. They grapple with gossip, heartache, societal pressures and the clash between head and heart.

A Monster Calls tells the story of Conor, who has the same dream every night since his mother fell ill. But then he wakes to find a monster at his window – an ancient force of nature that wants something from Conor.

Each summer more than 30,000 people visit the theatre in the grounds of Tolethorpe Hall. There is a licensed bar and those with tickets are invited to bring picnics, which can be eaten on the lawn before performances.

Sense and Sensibility's Marianne Dashwood played by Estella Todisco
Sense and Sensibility's Marianne Dashwood played by Estella Todisco

For more information and to book tickets to www.tolethorpe.co.uk.

Alternatively call the box office on 01780 917240.

A Monster Calls will be performed by Tolethorpe Youth Drama
A Monster Calls will be performed by Tolethorpe Youth Drama
A view of the stage and the audience
A view of the stage and the audience
An aerial view of Tolethorpe Hall
An aerial view of Tolethorpe Hall
Enjoying the evening sunshine with Tolethorpe Hall in the background
Enjoying the evening sunshine with Tolethorpe Hall in the background
The Recruiting Officer by George Farquhar
The Recruiting Officer by George Farquhar
Theatre-goers at Tolethorpe
Theatre-goers at Tolethorpe
The outdoor theatre is a popular attraction, bringing in visitors from a wide area
The outdoor theatre is a popular attraction, bringing in visitors from a wide area
The gardens at Tolethorpe Hall, where people can sit out and have a picnic
The gardens at Tolethorpe Hall, where people can sit out and have a picnic
Sense and Sensibility
Sense and Sensibility
People coming to see the shows can picnic in the gardens of Tolethorpe Hall
People coming to see the shows can picnic in the gardens of Tolethorpe Hall
A Monster Calls will be performed by Tolethorpe Youth Drama
A Monster Calls will be performed by Tolethorpe Youth Drama
The covered auditorium for the outdoor theatre
The covered auditorium for the outdoor theatre
A Midsummer Night's Dream is a popular choice with audiences at Tolethorpe
A Midsummer Night's Dream is a popular choice with audiences at Tolethorpe

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