Barn Theatre Announces Summer Outdoor Theatre Festival, BarnFest

Barnfest Outdoor Theatre Festival
Barnfest Outdoor Theatre Festival

The Barn Theatre in Cirencester has announced the launch of their first Summer outdoor theatre festival, BarnFest – Outdoor Theatre Festival, which will run from 25 July until 5 September.

The outdoor festival, which will be held within the grounds of Ingleside House adjacent to the theatre, will bring the award-winning theatre outdoors with entertaining productions catered towards the whole family ranging from children’s entertainment to re-imagined Shakespeare.

The festival will feature performances from West End and television stars including Natasha Barnes, Rosie Day and Aaron Sidwell.

Iwan Lewis – Artistic Director, The Barn Theatre said,  “We’re back! I am absolutely delighted to announce that the Barn Theatre, under unprecedented circumstances, is launching its very first outdoor theatre festival, BarnFest. Since the government statement allowing outdoor theatre to take place just over a week ago, the team have worked tirelessly to bring together a month-long programme of events featuring everything from children’s entertainment to Shakespeare. So, there’s something for all the family.

I’d like to assure everyone thinking of attending that your safety has been paramount in planning this event. All precautions have been taken to ensure you enjoy a safe and friendly festival environment and we cannot wait to have our audiences back at the Barn.”

Giffords Circus star Tweedy the Clown will launch the inaugural BarnFest season with his new family entertainment extravaganza Tweedy: Al Fresco! The clown, who over lockdown starred in the Barn Theatre produced online series Tweedy’s Lost & Found, will bring his new 60-minute show outdoors for two performances at 1pm and 4pm on 25th and 26th July.

The season will be followed by Natasha Barnes and Vikki Stone in their musical mashup Funny Gals: A History of Women Being Hilarious In Musicals from 5th to 8th August. The show explores the comedy music written for women in musical theatre.

Outdoor theatre company Illyria Theatre will be bringing three of their acclaimed productions to the festival: The Wind in the Willows (10th to 15th August), The Emperor’s New Clothes (17th to 22nd August) and The Adventures of Doctor Dolittle (24th to 28th August).

Rosie Day, who starred in the Golden Globe award-nominated television series Outlander, will star in her play Instructions For A Teenage Armageddon from 10th to 15th August. The production, directed by Georgie Staight and featuring the voice of Maxine Peake as Sensible Scout Leader Susan, previously had a successful run at The Old Red Lion Theatre in London. Instructions For A Teenage Armageddon is co-produced by Studio POW and the Barn Theatre.

New theatre company SCOOT Theatre will bring their re-imagined production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, a 60-minute retelling set within the world of cricket, to the festival from 29th to 30th August. The production, directed by Joseph O’Malley, features a cast including past Barn Theatre actors Aaron Sidwell (EastEnders, Henry V) and Max Hutchinson (The Woman in Black, The 39 Steps).

The season will also feature two brand new co-productions from the Barn Theatre. The first will be a new production of Simon Reade’s play adaptation of Private Peaceful by Michael Morpurgo, directed by Alexander Knott, will run at BarnFest from 17th to 22nd August. The show is co-produced by Take Two Theatricals, BoxLess Theatre and the Barn Theatre.

A new production of the Kander & Ebb musical revue The World Goes ‘Round will complete the run as part of BarnFest from 24th August to 5th September. The new co-production with Piers Cottee-Jones features songs from Kander & Ebb’s greatest works including Chicago, Cabaret and Kiss of the Spider-Woman. The production will be directed by Kirk Jameson with musical direction by Nick Barstow.

Casting for The World Goes ‘Round will be announced at a further date.

The theatre will be adhering stringently to all government guidelines during the festival and have released further details and information regarding the venue and procedures to keep audiences, staff and performers safe on their website here: https://barntheatre.org.uk/barnfest/bfyoursafety

Areas will be divided into boxes which individuals or families can purchase. Pricing for boxes begins at £40 for up to 4 people with disability and premium options are also available.

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