6 brilliant outdoor summer theatres and cinemas
Fancy a fix of film or theatre in the great outdoors this summer? There are several popping up around Kent so here’s my pick of the best. Pimms and popcorn at the ready… and probably wise to bring a blanket and brolly too!
Twelfth Night, Leeds Castle, Maidstone, Sat 23 Jul
With its natural amphitheatre, and that spectacular backdrop, Leeds Castle is hard to beat when it comes to open air entertainment. Currently running a series of events called Summertime at Leeds Castle – there’s everything from classic Shakespeare theatre to cult comedy films. Let the cast of The Royal Navy Theatre Company transport you to a story that starts with a stormy night and a shipwreck.
Tickets must be pre-booked in advance. Doors open at 6.30pm, performance begins at 7.30pm. £12 adults, £8 children (under 4s free). Leeds Castle, Maidstone ME17 1PL, Tel: 01622 765400, leeds-castle.com
All’s Well That Ends Well, venues across Kent, Fri 1 Jul – Sun 21 Aug
The Changeling Theatre bring their fabulous quirky touch to this classic story. Follow lovers Helena and Bertram and the quest that Helena undertakes to win her man when he goes to the French court to fight. Performing at some of Kent’s most beautiful venues, from the Biddenden Vineyards, to Rochester Castle and The Walled Nursery, Hawkhurst.
Biddenden Vineyards – Sun 7 Aug; Rochester Castle – Thus 11 Aug; The Walled Nursery, Hawkhurst – Wed, 17 Aug. Bring your own rugs and seating. For full list of venues, times and prices across Kent see here.
Wizard of Oz & Peter Pan, The Festival Theatre at Hever Castle, Wed 3 Aug, Thurs 11 Aug
If you’re near Edenbridge and looking for a grown-up open air entertainment option why not try Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro at Hever Castle’s Festival Theatre. Or for younger audiences (or the young at heart) there’s the Wizard of Oz and Peter Pan on offer, as afternoon matinee performances. For a full list of all performances on offer, click here.
Wizard of Oz – Wed 3 Aug and Peter Pan – Thus 11 Aug, 2.30pm. The Marriage of Figaro – Sat 6 Aug, 8pm. For a full list of all performances and times this summer, visit heverfestival.co.uk
Outdoor Cinema, Leeds Castle, Thurs 28 Jul – Sat 30 July
Three of my favourite unholy activities – watching movies, lounging outside and drinking rosé – combining in one delicious bundle. Bridesmaids, Star Wars: The Force Awakens and Top Gun are on the menu so comedy, adventure or nostalgia – take your pick. Premium seating available, bring something to sit on (blanket or picnic chair) or you can purchase fleece blankets and backrests on-site or by pre-order with your tickets.
Bridesmaids – Thurs 28 July; Star Wars: The Force Awakens – Fri 29 July; Top Gun – Sat 30 July. Doors open 7.30pm, film starts 9pm. Adult: £15; Children: £10 (ages 3-15). Leeds Castle, Maidstone ME17 1PL, Tel: 01622 765400, lunacinema.com
Outdoor Cinema, Tonbridge Castle, Fri 22 Jul – Sun 24 Jul
The film options here are Robin Hood: Prince Of Thieves – Fri 22 Jul; Grease – Sat 23 Jul; Back To The Future – Sun 24 Jul. Same rules apply bring a camp chair and umbrella to avoid getting soggy. Prime position seating, blankets and backrest also available.
Doors open 7:30pm, Film 9pm, Tickets: Adult £13.50, Child 12-15yrs £9, Tonbridge Castle, Castle St, Tonbridge, TN9 1BG, Tel: 01732 770929, lunacinema.com
Outdoor cinema, Betteshanger Park, Deal, Fri 19 Aug
A good option for the whole family to enjoy. Bring a blanket and picnic, sit back, relax and enjoy Disney’s The Jungle Book under the stars at Betteshanger Park. This one’s amazing value at just £9.99 for two (or a family of 4 for less than £20).
Doors open 7pm, film starts 7.30. £9.99 for 2 tickets. Betteshanger Park, Sandwich Rd, Deal, CT14 0BF, betteshanger-park.co.uk