CHRISTMAS OFFER Subscribe to Dorset Magazine today CLICK HERE

22 of the best open air performances in Dorset - summer 2015

PUBLISHED: 17:03 02 July 2015 | UPDATED: 17:03 02 July 2015

The Return of the Native performed by The New Hardy Players

The Return of the Native performed by The New Hardy Players


Summer is here and one of the best ways to enjoy a long evening is with a picnic at one of these open air performances in Dorset

Pride & Prejudice - 8 July

The Pantaloons play out Jane Austen’s romance between Lizzie and Mr Darcy in the grounds of Highcliffe Castle, Christchurch. Box Office: 01425 278807


The Magnificent Three - 9 July

Saddle up the horses and hit the trail of Dead Man’s Prairie as Miracle Theatre are back with their next installment of fantastic outdoor theatre at Maumbury Rings, Dorchester. Box office 01305 266926. Also 30 July: Springhead Fontmell Magna 01747 811853; 31 July: Sandford Orcas 01963 220208 & 1 August: Kimmeridge Bay


Return of the Native - 9-11 & 16-18 July

The New Hardy Players mark their 10th anniversary with Thomas Hardy’s tale of intrigue, hope and destiny on Egdon Heath in a series of outdoor performances.

9-10 July: Max Gate, Dorchester; 11 July: Minterne House, Minterne Magna; 16-17 July: Lulworth Cove; 18 July: Watercombe House, Owermoigne. Box office 01305 267992 or from Dorchester Tourist Information. More details at


The Comedy of Babi Babbett - 12 & 18 July

The Rude Mechanical Theatre Company perform a comedy set in Islington in 1793 expect mayhem, music and fun in this summer outdoor theatre event. Book in advance at Performances start 7.30pm

12 July: Child Okeford Recreation Ground; 18 July Durleston Country Park


The Merchant of Venice - 14-18 & 21-25 July

Will the Bournemouth Shakespeare Players seek their pound of flesh in this open-air performance at Priory House Garden, Christchurch. Box office: 01202 534776


Double Take - 19 July

Free dance event from Pavilion Dance South West featuring Geddes & Groves who take their dance on to the streets of Bournemouth Town 1-4pm.


The Tempest - 22, 24, 27, 29, 31 July & 3, 5 &7 August

Brownsea Open Air Theatre perform Shakespeare’s magical tale about an island on one of Dorset’s prettiest islands. Ticket includes island access from Poole, bring a picnic! Booking essential: 01202 251987


Much Ado About Nothing - 22 July

The Pantaloons perform Shakespeare’s romantic comedy in the grounds of Highcliffe Castle, Christchurch. Box Office on 01425 278807


Music in the Park - 25 July

The Band and Bugles of The Rifles, our county’s own military band join the Yeovil Operatic Society in the grounds of Child Okeford Manor to raise money for Help for Heroes and the Village Hall Appeal. Gates open at 5pm. The concert starts at 6.30pm.


Marshwood Manor Opera Picnic Opera - 26 July

The Garden Opera Company performs Verdi’s opera of love and despair, La Traviata, with a live chamber ensemble. Bring a picnic and enjoy this concert in the grounds of Marshwood Manor near Bridport. Box office: 01308 867440


Canterbury Tales - 26 July

The Wessex Actors Company lively retelling of Chaucer’s famous tales. 5 July: Swans Rugby Club, Wareham (6pm); 12 July: Upton Country House. Poole (6pm); 18 July: Kingston Lacy House (1pm & 6pm); 26 July: Poundbury Farm House, Dorchester (1pm & 6pm). Box office for outdoor venues listed above 07771 691 603. Also at the following theatres: 3 &10 July Mowlem Theatre, Swanage 01929 422 239; 4 July Shelley Theatre, Boscombe 01202 413 600; 17 July Exchange, Sturminster Newton 01258 475137; 24 July Regent Centre. Christchurch 01202 499199 & 25 July: Barrington Centre, Ferndown 01202 894858.


The Tempest - 27, 29, 31 July & 3, 5 & 7 August

Brownsea Open Air Theatre perform Shakespeare’s magical tale about an island on one of Dorset’s prettiest islands. Ticket includes island access from Poole, bring a picnic! Booking essential; 01202 251987


The Magnificent Three 30-31 July & 1 August

Saddle up with Cornwall’s Miracle Theatre for this lively Spaghetti Western. All performances start at 7.30pm.

30 July: Springhead Fontmell Magna 01747 811853; 31 July: Sandford Orcas. 01963 220208; 1 August: Kimmeridge Bay


Twelfth Night - 6 August

Join The Lord Chamberlain’s Men for Shakespeare’s enigmatic comedy in the beautiful grounds of Kingston Lacy house. Booking: 0844 249 1895


The Sorcerer’s Apprentice - 7 August

The story of the original boy-wizard set against the dramatic backdrop of Corfe Castle with magical illusions designed by Paul Daniels. Booking: 0844 249 1895


Stars Under the Stars - 15 & 28 – 30 August

The Purbeck Film Festival in conjunction with the National Trust hosts four outdoor screenings. 15 August: Mermaids at Knoll Beach, Studland; 28 August: What We Did On Our Holidays; 29 August: Paddington & 30 August: Jack Ryan, Shadow Recruit all at Corfe Castle. All events weather permitting.


Around the World In 80 Days - 16 August

Phileas Fogg and his world-weary valet Passepartout embark on a journey around the world in 80 days in the grounds of Kingston Lacy. Booking: 0844 249 1895


Treasure Island - 18 August

The Pantaloons bring Robert Louis Stevenson’s piratical tale to life in the grounds of Highcliffe Castle in Christchurch Starts 3pm. Box Office: 01425 278807


The Three Musketeers - 22 August

Join D’Artagnan, Athos, Porthos and Aramis in the grounds of Corfe Castle for this dazzling production by the renowned Illyria. Booking: 0844 249 1895


A Midsummer Night’s Dream - 28 August

Chapterhouse Theatre Company presents Shakespeare’s romantic comedy in the magical gardens of Athelhampton House. Booking: 01305 848363


Pride and Prejudice - 29 August

Chapterhouse Theatre Company brings Lizzie and Darcy together in the Georgian setting of Mountfield in Bridport. Bookings: 01308 424 204


Haka Day Out - 29 August

Free live dance performances by Corey Baker Dance (2pm, 4.30pm & 7pm) on the Pavilion Dance Terrace in the heart of Bournemouth featuring New Zealand’s magical culture. More details at


Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Dorset visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Dorset staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Dorset account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

More from Out & About


The guide to Dorset’s best firework displays and bonfire events happening in 2018

Read more
Mon, 11:34

From festive light switch-ons and Santa’s Grottos, to German Christmas markets and late-night shopping, we’ve covered what’s on in Dorset this season

Read more
Mon, 11:27

Dorset villages are some of the most beautiful in England – think winding lanes, thatched cottages and a cosy pub or welcoming tea room. We suggest ten of the prettiest villages to visit in the county

Read more
Monday, October 1, 2018

Autumn is a great time to brush up on your gardening knowledge with the help of some experts, as well as see some well known gardens in a different light

Read more
Friday, September 14, 2018

Follow in the footsteps of the Romans on this lovely walk that takes in rare habitat, ancient woodland and glorious views

Read more
Tuesday, September 11, 2018

This challenging coastal walk rewards your efforts with spectacular views along the Jurassic Coast

Read more
Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Marine photographer Steve Belasco shares some very special wildlife moments

Read more
Wednesday, September 5, 2018

TravelSupermarket has uncovered the top 25 most popular UK beaches on Instagram after analysing hashtags used for over 1,100 beaches and Bournemouth comes out on top

Read more
Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Ride + Stride, Dorset Historic Churches Trust’s annual fundraising event, is a great way to explore and support some of the county’s more unusual places of worship

Read more
Monday, August 6, 2018

This easy level walks takes in an ancient village described as The Mother of Bournemouth and Throop Mill of the River Stour

Read more
Friday, July 27, 2018

Martin Clunes and his family have called West Dorset home for over two decades. Here he shares some of their favourite local places

Read more

From paddling on the Frome to admiring one of the best vistas in Dorset, Adam Lee-Potter’s beloved home town just keeps getting better and better

Read more
Monday, July 16, 2018

Butterflies, buzzards and beautiful views sum up this lovely summer walk around Piddletrenthide and Plush Hill

Read more
Sunday, July 8, 2018

Visit Dorset reveal their favourite lesser-known local beaches to explore if you want to get off the beaten track this summer

Read more
A+ South & South West

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Topics of Interest

Subscribe or buy a mag today

subscription ad

Local Business Directory

Property Search