Grab a picnic and head to idyllic Sheffield and Rotherham settings for outdoor theatre

Open-air theatre nights are now a popular summer event at Wentworth Woodhouse stately home near Rotherham.

Tuesday, 9th July 2019, 12:39 pm
Updated Wednesday, 10th July 2019, 1:03 am
A production of The Secret Garden at Wentworth Woodhouse near Rotherham

 This year’s chosen drama is The Secret Garden, and with good reason.

Many of the rambling acres of gardens behind the  mansion in Rotherham are still unknown to anyone other than the gardening teams who tend them.

But that is changing fast. This is the year of the garden at Wentworth Woodhouse, says Preservation Trust chief executive Sarah McLeod.

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“More outdoor events than ever are being staged, fundraising is about to start for the restoration of the derelict Camellia House, which houses some of the rarest camellias in the UK, and our head gardener Scott Jamieson is now leading visitors on special tours of his domain.”

Scott has tended the gardens for 15 years and will be pointing out the unique collection of plants, shrubs and trees carefully collated by his predecessors over the centuries.

His next tours run on July 24, September 12 and October 18.

Meanwhile, theatre-lovers can head to the hidden West Front gardens for a performance of author Frances Hodgson Burnet’s 1911 classic novel on Tuesday, July 16.

An enchanting tale of secrecy and curiosity, it follows the story of Mary Lennox, who is orphaned and sent from India to her uncle’s house in the Yorkshire countryside.

She discovers new friends, a passion for the natural world - and an abandoned secret garden.

The show is performed by the Chapterhouse Theatre Company, which is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year.

To book, go to or call 01226 351161.

Other local dates for the show are Pavilion Arts Centre, Buxton on August 15 and Creswell Crags near Worksop on August 16.

Chapterhouse also perform family adventure Treasure Island at Wortley Hall, Sheffield on July 17.

The swashbuckling tale, based on Robert Louis Stevenson’s classic children’s story, features secrets, pirates and gold.

Book online at

Another popular theatre company, Heartbreak Productions, is returning for its 28th summer tour.

 Enjoy a summer’s evening in the company of debonair couples and honeymoon dramatics with Noel Coward’s celebrated comedy Private Lives.

Watch the fun at the Botanical Gardens, Sheffield on July 18 and 19 

 An  ultra-glam contemporary adaptation of Romeo and   Juliet features  red carpets and celebrity feuds galore.

See it at the Botanical Gardens from July 20 to 22.

The paranormally curious can  test their nerves  with a s pooky reinvention of Emily Bronte’s Wuthering Heights. That’s at the gardens on August 1  and 2.     

The producers say: “With Heartbreak’s signature narrative framing and interactive style, we guarantee a family friendly theatrical experience full of warmth, hilarity, and heart.

“Come prepared with picnics, a chair or blanket, and dress for the weather!” Booking details at