From timeless children’s classics to anarchic Oscar Wilde adaptations, Greater Manchester’s picturesque parks and gardens invite audiences to grab a fold-out chair and settle in with a pile of snacks to enjoy some of the best theatre in the country amongst breathtaking outdoor scenery, promising a quintessential English summer experience for guests of all ages.

Julius Caesar | Walton Hall | Warrington | Fri 7 Jun | 7pm | From £10.95

Set amidst the lush, ornate gardens of Warrington’s Elizabethan-style Walton Hall, Oddsock’s special production of Julius Caesar transports guests of ages 7 to 107 to 44BC Rome with a riotous recreation of the Ides of March, featuring preposterous puppetry, blockbuster battles, tearing togas and a cavalcade of clashing swords, promising a unique take on the most famous political coup in literature.

Guests are encouraged to bring their own blanket and weather-appropriate clothing.

Walton Lea Rd, Higher Walton, Warrington WA4 6SN
The not so big bad wolf | Quarry Bank | Wilmslow | Sat 29 Jun | 2pm, 4.30pm | From £7

On Sat 29 Jun, Wrongsemble theatre company puts a modern twist on the classic fairytale in the grounds of Quarry Bank, as internet-famous ‘True Grimm’ podcaster Little Red sets about dispelling the myths around her unfairly maligned lupine adversary with the help of a few storybook favourites, her trusty scarlet cloak and a basket full of music, mayhem and magic. However, she soon discovers that the truth at the heart of the treacherous woodland story is no fairytale at all.

Suitable for ages 4 and above.

Styal Rd, Styal, Wilmslow SK9 4HP
Romeo & Juliet | Bramhall Hall | Stockport | Sun 30 Jun | 4pm | £17

Having first performed their innovative production to wild acclaim over twenty years ago, Illyria take over the gorgeous landscape of Stockport’s Tudor manor house with their energetic, gripping take on Shakespeare’s most famous play.

From secret moonlit meetings to sun-scarred sword duels, the thrilling outdoor show flawlessly captures the enduring power of love, the hollow-eyed madness of revenge and heartbreaking arrow of fate as the Montagues and Capulets bring their brutal war from the streets of Verona to the lush gardens of Stockport’s beloved National Trust site.

Hall Rd, Bramhall, Stockport SK7 3NX
The Importance of Being Earnest | Ordsall Hall | Salford | Wed 3 Jul | 7pm | From £9

Oscar Wilde’s comic masterwork heads outdoors with The Pantaloons’ wickedly off-beat adaptation of the definitive comedy of manners at Ordsall Hall.

Packed with Wilde’s inimitable witticisms and uproarious plot twists, the delightfully chaotic interpretation adds original music and side-splitting physical theatre to the story of hilarious romantic deception, as best friends Jack and Algy attempt to maintain their fictitious alter-egos to win the hearts of Cecily and Gwendolyn.

322 Ordsall Ln, Salford M5 3AN
The Unusual Adventures of Robin Hood | Longford Park | Stretford | Sat 6 Jul | 3pm | £12 (under-4s FREE)

Promising ‘laughter, thrills and a touch of mischief’, Hobgoblin theatre company transforms Longford Park into the enchanting Sherwood Forest for a unique adventure with Robin Hood and his band of merry yet hapless outlaws.

Featuring rousing songs, audience participation and fast-paced fun, Hobgoblin’s three actors lead a lively, engaging and accessible show which follows the mischievous archer as he attempts to outwit the nefarious Sheriff of Nottingham while stealing from the rich and giving to the poor.

Ryebank Rd, Chorlton-cum-Hardy, Stretford, Manchester M21 9TA
Great Expectations | Quarry Bank | Wilmslow | Thu 1 Aug | 6.30pm | From £12

On Thu 1 Jun, Quantum invites guests to grab a picnic blanket, assemble their favourite snacks and pack both suncream and raincoats for an evening of fever-pitch drama and thrilling mystery with their adaptation of Dickens’ beloved novel at Quarry Bank.

From misty Kent marshlands to smog-filled London alleys, the enduring family story follows young orphan Pip, a blacksmith’s apprentice who comes into a substantial fortune bestowed by an unknown benefactor and infiltrates the city’s high society on a journey of destiny, intrigue, tragedy and unrequited love.

Styal Rd, Styal, Wilmslow SK9 4HP
Angelica Sprocket’s Pockets | Walkden Gardens | Sale | Fri 16 Aug | 2pm | From £10

Staged in the heart of Sale’s hidden botanical gem, Angelica Sprocket’s Pockets promises a fabulously entertaining afternoon of family-friendly excitement, as Folksy Theatre bring Quentin Blake’s wonderfully over-prepared Angelica Sprocket and her magical never-ending coat pockets to life with heaps of live music, puppetry, audience interaction and more.

Derbyshire Rd, Sale M33 3EL
Wolf McFarlane
Published on:
Mon 17 Jun 2024