Shakespeare, Sherlock and shows for the whole family in The Hawth’s outdoor programme

The Hound of the Baskervilles. Illustration by Frazer Marr
The Hound of the Baskervilles. Illustration by Frazer Marr

The warm weather has arrived and The Hawth in Crawley has organised a wonderful series of outdoor events that the whole family can enjoy.

Award-winning theatre company Illyria return with three performances, while This is My Theatre and Changeling Theatre also bring their own outdoor adaptations of well known tales to The Hawth’s stunning amphitheatre.

These performances are the perfect opportunity to get together a group of friends, a picnic and a blanket and enjoy great theatre in the great outdoors.

A Midsummer Night’s Dream is on Friday, June 22 (7pm).

Runaway lovers, mischievous fairies, their feuding king and queen and the rehearsals of a band of amateur actors make this one of Shakespeare’s most beloved plays. Using the original language in combination with traditional folk music played live, choral song and modern characterisation, this beautiful adaptation by This is My Theatre should captivate audiences of all ages.

The Adventures Of Doctor Dolittle is at the venue on Thursday, July 5 (6.30pm).

When Doctor John Dolittle learns how to talk to animals, news of his skills spreads far and wide. Soon animals across the world send messages asking for his help. So, he buys a leaky old ship and, together with his trusty pet-crew, sets forth on a mission to heal illness, spread compassion and gain a greater understanding of the animal kingdom. This is a funny and exciting adventure from Illyria with a strong message about responsibility towards animals and the environment.

The show is suitable for ages 5-plus.

On August 4 (7.30pm), Noël Coward fans are invited to watch Blithe Spirit.

Changeling Theatre offer an outdoor performance of one of Coward’s most enduring comedies, which was recently revived in London’s West End.

Celebrated novelist Charles Condomine has invited a local medium and eccentric, Madame Arcati, to hold a séance at his house as research for his new book. Arcati calls up the ghost of Charles’ first wife – the alluring Elvira – who delights in taunting her husband and mocking his marriage to his new wife Ruth.

The Merchant of Venice is at The Hawth on August 10 (7pm). Illyria return to the woodland amphitheatre to perform Shakespeare’s funny play that deals with serious issues – in particular the keeping of promises.

The Hound of the Baskervilles tells a chilling tale on Friday, August 31 (6.30pm).

Who killed Sir Charles Baskerville? Is a monstrous hound really roaming Dartmoor? Why is someone systematically stealing Sir Henry’s shoes? And how does a ghostly hound manage to leave vast paw-prints and other unwelcome evidence of its existence? The original and greatest literary detective of them all, Sherlock Holmes, and his assistant Doctor Watson, tackle the most baffling case of their careers.

Tickets for A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Doctor Dolittle, The Merchant of Venice and The Hound of the Baskervilles are £15 (discounts £12, children £10, family of four £38). Tickets for Blithe Spirit are £22 (children £12, under tens free). Call 01293 553636.

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