Chipping Norton Theatre launches outdoor cinema and theatre series - including shows at Broughton Castle near Banbury

Shakespeare in Love film to be shown in Broughton Castle – the Elizabethan manor house in which it was filmed.

Thursday, 6th May 2021, 1:29 pm
Updated Thursday, 6th May 2021, 1:32 pm
A screening of Shakespeare in Love will be held at Broughton Castle on May 29 (File Banbury Guardian image)

Chipping Norton Theatre has announced ambitious plans for the spring and summer, offering a range of outdoor events to keep audiences entertained.

For the first time, the venue is presenting live performances and cinema screenings outdoors, working with some of the most atmospheric and beautiful venues in the county.

The theatre will be presenting open-air cinema for the first time in its history, with classic titles like Pretty Woman, Dirty Dancing and The Greatest Showman in a variety of venues across the region.

It will even be showing Shakespeare in Love in Broughton Castle – the Elizabethan manor house in which it was filmed.

Audiences can bring picnic blankets, or hire deckchairs, and the venue will be providing mobile bars and gourmet street-food at every event.

Chippy Cinema Al Fresco @ Broughton Castle begins on May 27 with the romantic favourite Pretty Woman, followed by The Greatest Showman on May 28 and Shakespeare in Love on May 29. Cross the moat and enter the stately courtyard of the 16th-century castle to experience one of the most exclusive and atmospheric open-air cinema locations in the country.

Chippy Cinema Al Fresco @ Heath Farm, Swerford, begins on May 30 with the vibrant 1996 film Romeo + Juliet, followed on May 31 with the colourful and exuberant Moulin Rouge and on June 1 with the ‘80s family sci-fi adventure Back to the Future. Wander through bosky paths and gardens to find this secret, natural lakeside amphitheatre, surrounded by woodland and beautiful Oxfordshire countryside.

Chippy Cinema Al Fresco @ Chipping Norton Rugby Club begins on June 3 with the acclaimed Elton John biopic Rocketman, followed by The Greatest Showman on June 4, Dirty Dancing on June 5 and Mamma Mia! on June 6.

Then, later in the month, Live Theatre on a Summer’s Evening begins. Working with a number of visiting companies, the theatre is presenting a range of family and adult productions to get everyone back to enjoying culture, entertainment and the open air.

Oxfordshire’s own Opera Anywhere present the Gilbert and Sullivan classic The Pirates of Penzance at Heath Farm, Swerford, on June 26 and 27.

Jane Austen’s witty and romantic classic Pride and Prejudice will be staged in the courtyard of Broughton Castle on July 9.

In the stately grounds, walled gardens and rolling fields of Pudlicote House, a quietly beautiful Georgian property situated between Charlbury and Burford, The Handlebards – a four-strong troupe of actors who travel between each performance venue on their bikes – present Macbeth on Bikes. Forget the tears and tragedy - this is a frantic, delirious, energetic show, and can be seen from July 17 to 21.

Immersion Theatre will present a new musical adaptation of the Rudyard Kipling family favourite The Jungle Book in the beautiful valley of Rangers Lawn, part of the Cornbury Park estate, on August 1.

And the same venue hosts Heartbreak Productions’ staging of the David Walliams story Mr Stink on August 11.

All the events will be Covid-secure, and initially put on sale as socially distanced, although regulations may change to allow increased capacity.

The theatre will also be hosting indoor socially distanced performances from late May.

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