It's a bumper week for outdoor entertainment. From Shakespeare classics to Lewis Carol novels, well-loved stories are performed beneath the skies. Here's what's on offer for those seeking fresh air, fun and al-fresco drama.
Romeo and Juliet:
Shakespeare's classic love story is retold at Hartland Abbey by Heartbreak Theatre on Sunday. Turn to page 5 of Journal2 to find out more about the production.
"Come along with rugs and picnic chairs and have a wonderful afternoon and evening enjoying great entertainment from talented actors in the perfect setting of the Abbey lawn," said Hartland Abbey's Lady Angela Stucley.
"There is no need to bring a picnic, if you prefer, as Mr Crackling will be producing his delicious barbecues of locally sourced produce. There will also be soft drinks, a Pimm's and wine bar and Dunstaple Farm ice creams.
"Cream teas will be served at the afternoon performances. Gates open two hours before performances to enable those attending to enjoy the beautiful gardens and grounds free of charge."
Heartbreak Theatre's Romeo And Juliet is in the grounds of Hartland Abbey on Sunday, August 18, 7pm. Tickets: £12.50 (adult), £10 (concession), £9 (Plough Arts Centre supporter), £27, £36, £45 (family). Box office: 01805 624624.
Midsummer Night's Dream:
The Pantaloons are a young, vibrant theatre company whose style draws from a wide variety of popular theatre traditions, from commedia dell'arte and clowning to stand-up comedy and silent movies.
The company bring Midsummer Night's Dream to the grounds at Castle Hill on Wednesday. Puck and his musical fairy band will tell a tale of lovers, mechanicals, and magical mayhem.
The Pantaloons make their return to Shakespeare with this timeless comedy, told, as ever, in their own distinctive and anarchic style.
The Pantaloons' Midsummer Night's Dream is on Wednesday, August 21, 7pm at Castle Hill, Filleigh. Tickets: £12.50 (adult), £10 (concession), £9 (Plough supporter), £27, £36, £45 (family). Plough box office: 01805 624624.
The Comedy Of Errors:
There's another al fresco Shakespeare classic when Oddsocks perform the farcical Comedy Of Errors. A cast of six actors play a multitude of characters in this two hour adaptation of Shakespeare's shortest comedy.
A servant and master from far off Syracuse arrive in Ephesus in search of their long-lost twin brothers. In no time at all they are trapped in a terrifying chain of chaotic events.
Tormented by a wild wife, a moody mistress, challenged by a crazy jeweller and damned by a demonic doctor, the terrified twosome run headlong into a climactic happy ending which defies all probability.
Slapstick, audience participation and improvised interaction all promise to come together to create a summer delight.
The performance takes place in the open air, (whatever the weather) and audience members are invited to take garden chairs, rugs and picnics.
Oddsocks' Comedy Of Errors is next to Witheridge Parish Hall on Thursday, August 22, 7.30pm. Tickets: £12.50 (adult), £10 (child), £35 (family) from www.oddsocks.co.uk.
Alice: An Extraordinary Adventure:
Expect a dreamlike world full of colour, song and rhyme at RHS Rosemoor next Thursday. It's ruled by a crazy, croquet-playing Queen with very little heart and a very short temper.
Heartbreak Theatre perform a dramatic adaptation of Lewis Carroll's inspired and influential masterpieces Alice In Wonderland and Alice Through The Looking Glass.
The actors invite you to join Alice on an enchanted journey which leads her to a chaotic underground world. You'll meet the White Rabbit, the Mad Hatter, Tweedledum and Tweedledee and a whole host of other quirky characters.
Heartbreak Theatre's Alice – An Extraordinary Adventure is at RHS Rosemoor, Torrington on Thursday, August 22, 5pm. Tickets: £12.50 (adult), £10 (concession), £9 (Plough supporter), £27, £36, £45 (family). Box office: 01805 624624.
Gilbert and Sullivan comic opera, The Mikado, is the entertainment at Hartland Abbey next Thursday.
Although set in Japan, it is very much a parody of British politics, institutions and public life. It gets the complete Illyria treatment, faithfully performed by a reduced cast and accompanied by a musical director on keyboard.
In the town of Titipu flirting has been made illegal. The penalty is death. Too bad then that the main culprit is the Lord High Executioner Ko-Ko, who wishes to marry his beautiful young ward Yum-Yum, and who has no intention of executing himself.
The Mikado by Illyria is at Hartland Abbey on Thursday, August 22, 7pm. Tickets: £12.50 (adult), £10 (concession), £9 (Plough supporter), £27, £36, £45 (family). Plough Arts Centre box office: 01805 624624.