Chapterhouse Theatre bring outdoor performance to the Dorset/Hampshire countryside

We know that British summertime hasn’t exactly been forthcoming this year, but we’re sure the sun is going to get his (or her?) hat on in time for the open-air theatre season.

Last year, I had the pleasure of spending a beautiful summer’s evening with a bountiful picnic at Corfe Castle, watching Chapterhouse Theatre’s rendition of The Taming of the Shrew. As the resident drama-grad in my group of friends, I was ready to answer all the ‘so what’s going on?’ questions. But luckily for me, they didn’t come. As with any good Shakespeare performance, we were completely mesmerised and almost forgot we were hearing what sometimes seems like a foreign language. Being in the shadow of Corfe Castle was magical, and the four-hander cast well and truly broke down the fourth wall to draw the audience into the story. So I have high hopes for this year’s Chapterhouse Theatre Season.

A Midsummer Nights Dream.jpg

This summer, Chapterhouse Theatre Company presents six stunning open-air adaptations of classic novels and some of literature’s most treasured stories to theatre-goers throughout the UK and Ireland. Performed at over 180 of the most beautiful garden venues from June until September 2016, Chapterhouse promises an enchanting and unmissable evening of theatre under the stars.

The Railway Children.jpg

I’ll be packing up my blanket (and an embarrassingly large picnic) and heading off to see The Railway Children and A Midsummer Night’s Dream (my all-time favourite Shakespeare, so the pressure really is on for Chapterhouse this time) in some beautiful Dorset and Hampshire locations. And I promise, it’s not only an excuse to eat my weight in cocktail sausages.

You can find out more about performances near you at

Words by Katie Dancey-Downs.

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