13 Festivals, Open-Air Theatre and Cinema Screenings Across the North East
Summer is here so get booking for the best al fresco cinema screenings, open-air theatre and fantastic festivals right across the region
AS YOU LIKE IT
The Main House Lawn, Middleton Lodge
The Three Inch Fools are coming back to the Middleton Lodge estate for an evening of light-hearted laughter. This time, they’re performing their take on Shakespeare’s classic As You Like It. Suitable for all ages, it’s a great excuse to bring the whole family together. Drinks will be available to buy from the Main House Bar throughout the performance and tables can be booked before or after the performance at the Coach House.
THIS IS SOUTH TYNESIDE FESTIVAL
FROM 1ST JULY
Across South Tyneside
What’s better than a weekend festival? Three months of entertainment, maybe? The Vamps, Jason Donovan, Björn Again and Boyzlife are this year’s Sunday Concert performers – and all the concerts are free! Plus, there’ll be festival parades, a brass band and live music at the amphitheatre, a fun fest for the kids, and the return of Proms in The Park (2nd of July). Just take your pick, or go along to them all.
MOUTH OF THE TYNE FESTIVAL
Tynemouth Priory & Castle
The Proclaimers, Gabrielle and Paul Heaton (previously the frontman of the Housemartins) join this year’s line-up for Mouth of The Tyne. This weekend of live music by the sea against the backdrop of Tynemouth Priory is always popular, so book your tickets early.
15TH & 22ND JULY
Herrington Country Park, Sunderland
The Kubix pop and dance night comes to Herrington Country Park on 15th July with Sugababes leading a fantastic line-up include Five, Blue and Basshunter. If alternative and rock music is more your cup of tea, head to the park on 22nd July for Squeeze, The Enemy and Heaven 17. There’ll be bars, street food and a funfair too.
OPEN AIR THEATRE: SENSE AND SENSIBILITY
Heartbreak Productions invite you to this year’s Sense and Sensibility Matchmaker’s Ball. Dig out your best finery and don’t miss this open-air adaptation of Jane Austen’s classic romance. Pack a picnic, pop your chaise longue (or blanket) in the boot, dress for the weather and enjoy.
29TH JULY–9TH SEPTEMBER
Flatts Farm, Bishop Auckland
Two thousand years of history, myth and legend are packed into this 90-minute outdoor performance as you follow young Arthur on his epic time-travelling quest. From Boudicca’s battles with the Romans to two world wars and the lavish celebrations of Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee, it’s a real celebration of history, featuring epic horse stunts you won’t want to miss.
Gisborough Priory, Guisborough
Award-winning outdoor theatre company Illyria are back, and this summer, everything is not as it seems. They’ll tell this tale of romance, revenge, and mistaken identities, which is always hilarious. Expect singing, sword fights and plenty of silliness.
BAD DAD BY DAVID WALLIAMS
Middlesbrough Town Hall Courtyard
A tragic accident put a stop to Gilbert’s track-racing days and he became a get-away driver for the local baddies. Join him and his son in the struggle to escape the clutches of the local crime lord and to clear Gilbert’s name. Heartbreak Productions are bringing to life this warm-hearted tale following the highs and lows of a father-son relationship in this open-air adaptation of David Walliams’ Bad Dad.
18TH, 19TH & 20TH AUGUST
Hardwick Hall, Sedgefield
The Kooks and Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds headline this popular festival, joined by Scouting For Girls, Andrew Cushin, The Vaccines and Freya Ridings among many more big names in music. Join 10,000 music-lovers at Hardwick Hall, and make the most of all three days by camping or glamping.
ALICE’S ADVENTURES IN WONDERLAND
Washington Old Hall
Follow the critically-acclaimed Pantaloons (and Alice) down the rabbit hole to meet the Mad Hatter, the White Rabbit and the Queen of Hearts (whether you like it or not). Their hilarious take on Lewis Carroll’s novel just gets curiouser and curiouser. Bring a picnic and something comfortable to sit on and expect some audience interaction.
PETER PAN AT ETAL MANOR
Etal Manor, Northumberland
Slapstick Picnic comes from the minds that created the HandleBards. They tell your favourite tales with an untraditional twist, so it’s theatre all modern audiences will love. This open-air show about a boy who refuses to grow up is being held in aid of HospiceCare, and a raffle will be drawn in the interval.
31ST AUGUST–3RD SEPTEMBER
Overlooking Holy Island
The ultimate end-of-summer party is back for its eighth year of music. As always, it’ll be jam-packed with entertainment with hundreds of acts over eight stages. This year’s theme is Vikings and Rainbows and as well as enjoying good music you won’t want to miss the comedy, acrobats and fire performers.
1ST & 2ND SEPTEMBER
The Luna Cinema returns to Alnwick Castle promising a summer screening under the stars. You’re invited to visit Hogwarts for the first (really?!), or the 100th (yep!) time in the exact setting of the original wizarding school. Better yet, this is a double bill of the Harry Potter movies – the Philosopher’s Stone on the 1st and the Order of the Phoenix on the 2nd.