The north of England’s largest open-air theatre, in Grosvenor Park in Chester, returns from July 1-August 29 with three full-length productions.
Shakespeare’s story of star-crossed lovers, Romeo and Juliet, launches the season in a new production directed by John Young, who led the popular Merry Wives of Windsor last year. This new staging will be set in 1950s Italy and feature songs specially composed by Chester band Me + Deboe.
That will be followed by Louisa May Alcott’s classic Little Women, in a new adaptation by Anne Odeke, with the action moved from Civil War America to Britain at the outbreak of World War I. Opening on July 8, it will be directed by Natasha Rickman, who directed a critically-acclaimed Antigone at Storyhouse – the open-air theatre's production home – last autumn.
The programme is completed with a revival of the children’s favourite Stig of the Dump from July 22, a hit with theatregoers at Grosvenor Park in 2016. The adaptation, by Jessica Swale, will be directed by Harry Jardine and will see both Stig and Barney played by deaf actors, with an integrated BSL signer as part of every show.
All three productions will then play in repertory until August 29.
The Grosvenor Park "village" will return with an expanded version of the popular tepee bar, al fresco seating areas, games for youngsters and extended food and drink stalls, almost exclusively from local suppliers. Visitors will notice more of a festival feel, with extra events and activities as part of the two-month park residency.
Storyhouse CEO Andrew Bentley said: “We’ve been really proud to continue live performance to our loyal Grosvenor Park audiences during the pandemic. But it’s really exciting to finally be back with full-length shows – including intervals, full lighting and a full company of talented actor-musicians, waiting to entertain.
“Along with the main shows we’re planning additional events, which we hope will together add a real festival feel for what I know is going to be fantastic summer in the park.”
Tickets go on sale to Storyhouse members today (March 24) and on general sale to the public on April 8. Children aged 12 and under get in free when accompanied by a full-paying adult.
Local employer MBNA is sponsoring the 2022 season for the third year.
More info and tickets here