Harman Patil

Grosvenor Park Open Air Theatre

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Type  Open air
Capacity  500
Current use  Summer repertory
Operator  Storyhouse
Grosvenor Park Open Air Theatre i2chesterchroniclecoukincomingarticle5314313
Address  Grosvenor Park Chester United Kingdom

Grosvenor park open air theatre

Grosvenor Park Open Air Theatre, located in Chester, UK, is a purpose-built venue with an eight-week annual summer repertory season. Founded in 2010 by local arts producer Storyhouse, it is the only full-time, site-specific professional open-air theatre company outside London. The company produces all its work in-house under its Artistic Director, Alex Clifton.


Timelapse footage of the construction of grosvenor park open air theatre

The theatre

The open-air theatre was designed by the company is built each summer in Grosvenor Park, a public park in Chester. Performances are staged 'in the round', with the audience seated on all sides of a central stage. In 2011 the theatre switched from a traditional built stage to a more Shakespearean 'thrust' stage, made from woodchip. Covered seating to around 40% of terraces was introduced in 2012. In 2015, the original horseshoe shape was replaced by full 'in the round' seating.


As at 2016, the theatre stages three productions per season, often two Shakespeare plays and an additional, specially commissioned work. This has included work by Helen Eastman, Jessica Swale and most prominently Glyn Maxwell.

Directors have included Nikolai Foster (director of the West Yorkshire Playhouse), Robin Norton-Hale and Alex Clifton who has been the theatre's Artistic Director since 2010.

Grosvenor Park Open Air Theatre also invites a company of 16- to 24-year-olds to stage an original one-act play which is written, produced and performed by members of the company.

Other projects undertaken by Storyhouse include the Chester Music Festival, the Chester Literature Festival, outdoor cinema season Moonlight Flicks and the young person’s literature festival WayWord. The company is opening a new £37m combined arts centre, theatre and library, under the Storyhouse brand, in Spring 2017.


  • As You Like It by William Shakespeare
  • Stig of the Dump by Jessica Swale adapted from the novel by Clive King
  • The Two Gentlemen of Verona by William Shakespeare
  • 2015

  • Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare
  • Wind in the Willows by Glyn Maxwell adapted from the novel by Kenneth Grahame
  • The Merry Wives of Windsor by William Shakespeare
  • 2014

  • The Secret Garden by Jessica Swale adapted from the novel by Frances Eliza Hodgson Burnett
  • Macbeth by William Shakespeare
  • The Comedy of Errors by William Shakespeare
  • The Sea of Trees by Cameron Chalmers. (Young Company Production)
  • 2013

  • Othello by William Shakespeare
  • Cyrano de Bergerac by Glyn Maxwell adapted from the original play by Edmond Rostand
  • A Midsummer Night's Dream by William Shakespeare
  • Some Paradise by Olivia Hicks. (Young Company Production)
  • 2012

  • Master Are You Mad? by Glyn Maxwell
  • Twelfth Night by William Shakespeare
  • I Was Adored Once by Michael Christie. (Young Company Production)
  • 2011

  • Merlin and the Woods of Time by Glyn Maxwell
  • Much Ado About Nothing by William Shakespeare
  • As You Find It devised from Shakespeare's Sonnets. (Young Company Production)
  • 2010

  • Hercules by Helen Eastman
  • Much Ado About Nothing by William Shakespeare
  • Reviews

    Alfred Hickling, writing in The Guardian in 2013, states In four years, Chester's Grosvenor Park theatre has grown from a spartan bank of seating into a perfect wooden O with audience cover, an expanded repertoire and upgraded picnic facilities. The Stage describes the 2013 production of Cyrano de Bergerac as what good alfresco summer theatre is all about.


    Grosvenor Park Open Air Theatre Wikipedia

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