Double date with the Bard

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In June and July, Leighton Hall welcomes the Festival Players into their garden for two very special events.

Two of Shakespeare’s most popular plays A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Romeo and Juliet will be performed alfresco in the Carnforth mansion’s stunning gardens.

On Tuesday, June 25 the poignant and tragic love story of Romeo and Juliet will be played out, in complete contrast to the fantasy, fairies and magical fun of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, which takes place on July 26.

Both productions will be directed by Worcestershire-based Michael Dyer.

Music has been specially written by folk star Johnny Coppin (front man of the cult seventies folk-rock group Decameron).

Michael said: “We perform over 100 shows a year and always love returning to Leighton Hall, as is it without doubt, the perfect setting for a balmy summer’s evening of magic, mirth and music!”

“Rain or shine, the shows starts at 7.30pm.

“But Leighton’s grounds open at 6pm giving visitors plenty of time to open the deckchairs, cool boxes, enjoy their own picnics and really make a night of it.”

Suzie Reynolds, owner of Leighton Hall said “I love these evenings.

“The Festival Players make Shakespeare accessible to all.

“The shows are never longer than two hours, the music is fantastic and the audience feel part of the production.

“The weather’s unpredictable at the moment, so make sure you wear warm clothes!”

These shows are part of a UK tour by the Festival Players taking in such venues as Shaftesbury Abbey, Pontefract Castle, Kellie Castle in Fife and Bosworth Battlefield Heritage Centre.

Last year the Festival Players toured performances of other Shakespeare classics Twelfth Night and Richard III.

Tickets are £15 for adults and £10 for children

They are available from Leighton Hall on 01524 734474, Lancaster Visitor Information Centre on 01524 32878 and Morecambe Visitor Information Centre on 01524 582808.