Following Hever Festival Theatre’s successful bitesize season last year, we’re continuing to social distance and offer a full programme of vibrant and varied performances across 4 very different and spectacular venues in the award-winning gardens of Hever Castle, childhood home of Anne Boleyn, one of Kent’s top tourist attractions.
As well as the Two Sisters Theatre, the original theatre where the seating is tiered and under cover, performances will also take place in The Loggia the tranquil Italian Gardens with the magnificent lake view, Anne Boleyn’s Walk a secluded open-air ancient woodland glade and on The Main Lawn with a superb view of the castle.
These new performance spaces allow audiences to choose where to sit and enjoy the vista from their own chairs or blanket, in the sunshine or under the stars.
The popular annual open-air summer Festival, now in its 38th year, takes place from 29 May to 30 August. To open the Season we’re excited to welcome The People’s String Foundation (Saturday 29 May) with their latest album release Res Publica. Musicians Ben and Zaid use music, puppetry, art, cinematography and animation set to the backdrop of their 32 piece ‘Virtual Gypsy Orchestra’ to wow audiences with this unique experience.
Shakespeare fans can see a comedy and a tragedy, The Lord Chamberlain’s Men with Macbeth (Sunday 13 June) as it was originally performed; in the open air, by an all-male cast with Elizabethan costumes, music and dance. And the popular Three Inch Fools return to the Loggia with The Merry Wives of Windsor (Monday 30 August).
The Two Sisters Theatre will be hosting some wonderful entertainers including Britain’s Got Talent finalist, magician Ben Hart (Friday 23 July), Grammy nominated vocalist Stacey Kent (Sunday 25 July) and BBC Radio 2 favourite Reverend Kate Bottley (Tuesday 3 August)
The programme of family shows, and events has been extended once again with a performance to enthral children every week of the holidays, starting with half term entertainment from Illyria Theatre’s The Further Adventures of Dr Dolittle (Tuesday 1 June) and the hilarious comedy Blue Planet III (Thursday 3 June). The summer merriment commences with Immersion Theatre’s wild adaptation of The Jungle Book (Wednesday 28 July), Arthurs Dreamboat (Thursday 22 July) and Dustbin Doris (Thursday 5 August) presented in association with the Tunbridge Wells Puppetry Festival, Horrible Histories: Gorgeous Georgians and Vile Victorians (Thursday 12 August), a Celebration of Harry Potter (Tuesday 24 August) and Morgan and West’s action-packed family show The Three Musketeers (Thursday 26 August).
This year we are thrilled to welcome an eclectic mix of homegrown Kent artists, including the return of Beyond the Barricade (Friday 6 August); Night Owls Amy Winehouse Tribute Back to Black (Saturday 24 July); New Creations Collective re-telling of The Secret Garden through classical music and ballet (Thursday 19 August); First Knight Theatre’s second instalment of Alan Ayckbourn’s Norman Conquest Trilogy Living Together (Friday 20 & Saturday 21 August) and Hever Castle’s own historian, Dr Owen Emmerson who with Claire Ridgway will spend an evening charting the colourful history of Hever’s most famous residents from their astonishing rise to power to their dramatic and bloody end The Boleyns of Hever Castle (Sunday 1 August).
Annual favourites, Last Night of the Hever Proms will return (Sunday 29 August) as will Ronnie Scott’s All Stars with two popular shows: Rhapsody in Blue (Thursday 5 August) A Jazz Portrait of George Gershwin with James Pearson and Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club at 60 (Sunday 22 August) featuring a brand-new programme of music and narration, celebrating the incredible 60-year history of one of the world’s most iconic music venues.
From the world of classical music and opera, Charles Court Opera, one of the leading and most versatile chamber opera companies in the UK return to Hever with three Gilbert & Sullivan productions: Iolanthe (Thursday 29 July), The Complete Works of Gilbert and Sullivan in 75 minutes! (Monday 9 August) and The Mikado (Friday 27 August). Hever favourites Opera Brava bring two greatly loved classics; Puccini’s Tosca (Saturday 14 August) and Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro (Sunday 15 August).
Tickets are bookable online www.heverfestival.co.uk or the Box Office is open for telephone bookings Monday-Friday 9.30am-5pm on 01732 866114.