Crawley’s Hawth set for summer of outdoor theatre

The Mikado
The Mikado
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Set among beautiful woodland in The Hawth’s grounds, the amphitheatre offers an ideal setting for a summer of outdoor theatre.

Illyria Theatre, embarking on its 26th year of touring, is set to present five family friendly productions, and Sussex company This is my Theatre will present one of Shakespeare’s best plays.

The season starts on Saturday, June 17 (7.15pm), with The Comedy of Errors.

Two sets of identical twins, separated at birth, unknowingly end up in the same city. More and more people are sucked into a vortex of mistaken identity.

This hilarious play is set in Mexico and will be performed by a five-piece Mariachi band, resplendent in ponchos and sombreros.

Pride and Prejudice, one of Jane Austen’s most popular stories, will be performed on July 12 (7.15pm).

In a social whirlwind of balls, dinners and very eligible officers, Lizzie Bennett and Fitzwilliam Darcy stand alone as the only sane people – and they hate each other. Or do they? Can she see beyond his pride and can he overcome her prejudice in order to achieve their mutual happiness?

Shakespeare’s tragedy Macbeth will be performed in the Amphitheatre on July 22 by This Is My Theatre. Using Shakespeare’s original language in combination with traditional Celtic music played live, choral song and modern characterisation, this beautiful one-act adaptation aims to captivate audiences of all ages.

Gilbert & Sullivan’s wry comic opera The Mikado may be set in Japan, but its satire of the ways a lie can be twisted into truth is possibly more relevant to the political landscape of the English-speaking world than ever before. The opera will be performed in its entirety by a talented cast of six on July 26 (7pm).

On August 5 (5.30pm) Illyria will present Hans Christian Anderson’s The Emperor’s New Clothes. This cautionary tale about the vain King who gets embarrassingly swindled is Illyria’s cheekiest ever show. Rest assured, there is no nudity involved – although one of the actors may get a bit chilly.

Older children and their families may be interested in an adaptation of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Lost World on August 25 (6pm).

Four intrepid explorers travel to an uncharted plateau in South America and encounter terrifying dinosaurs previously believed to be extinct.

When their camera is destroyed in an accident what evidence can they produce to prove that these creatures actually exist? Unless, of course, they bring live specimens back to London in ‘unbreakable’ crates to reveal to an astounded public. What could possibly go wrong?

Tickets cost £15. Discounts £12, students £9, family of four £38. Call The Hawth box office on 01293 553636 or visit hawth.co.uk.

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