Know your theatre:
Clonter, sometimes called ‘the Glyndebourne of the North’, is on a working farm in the Cheshire countryside, not far from the Jodrell Bank radio telescope.
Clonter began as informal gatherings in a barn, with seating on bales of straw. Today the venue has a 400-seat theatre (though a former hen house is still part of the backstage facilities), and a well-established programme of events. Clonter notably showcases young operatic talent, but also jazz and folk.
Front of house now offers sufficient accommodation for the entire audience to enjoy a meal under one roof, either before or part-way through the performance (ordered from the house caterer or your own picnic), which is something even Glyndebourne cannot offer.
Expect to meet the Cheshire set in full cry (especially after imbibing during a long interval) as your fellow opera-buffs, but this stage frequently offers future international stars in the making, so it can be worth it...
Swettenham Heath, Trap Rd, Congleton CW12 2LR
General inquiries and box office: 01260 224514 (10am-4pm Mon-Fri and performance days).
The theatre is large, the building boasting separate rooms of various sizes, allowing it to function as a theatre and for corporate hires and schools use throughout the year. The theatre website offers a range of accommodation choices for long-distance visitors. Disabled visitors are well catered for
There is a drop-off point outside the theatre entrance, and free parking. Eight bays close to the main entrance can be reserved for those with reduced mobility.