Open Stage 2024

Come and enjoy free outdoor weekend performances, workshops and stories on the Garden Theatre stage this summer.

We invited groups from across the UK to see what they’d like to create on our stage. See the full programme below, running on the Holloway Garden Theatre stage on weekends from Saturday 20 July to Sunday 1 September.

All events and performances are free to attend, but you'll need to book.

All Mirth and No Matter_ Next Generation ACT_ July 2021_2021_Photo by Sara Beaumont _c_ RSC_315088
Photo by Sara Beaumont © RSC Browse and license our images

Open Stage performance schedule

All performances take place in The Holloway Garden Theatre and are suitable for all ages, unless otherwise stated.

 

 

Two people with a blue backdrop and the words The Tempest

Saturday 20 July

The Tempest performed by Silhouette Youth

12 midday and 2pm, approx. 60 minutes
Prospero takes us on an adventure to a faraway island inhabited by the creatures in his mind. We get to meet his imaginary friend Ariel and we experience the world through his eyes. His relationship with Miranda, his lost daughter, drives his slow decent into madness and forces him to make a choice. Two casts will take you through this vision in one hour.

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Silhouette Youth is an associate regional theatre partner of the RSC and is based on the top floor of Weston Favell Shopping Centre in Northampton. They take part in Next Generation Act, Direct and Backstage and have a long-standing commitment to the work of Shakespeare.


 

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Sunday 21 July

Star Crossed Fools by Lucid Spark Theatre

12 midday and 2pm, approx. 60 minutes
From the whimsical, to the surreal, to the tragic and back again, Star Crossed Fools is an original script based around the timeless action of Romeo and Juliet. Over the course of one Shakespearean tragedy, both audience and cast immerse themselves in a dramatic and comical storyline. With multiple-choice endings and audience participation, the fate of the actors, characters, costume and even music is entirely in your hands. 

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Lucid Spark is a touring immersive theatre company based in the Midlands. With a mission to redefine the traditional theatrical experience, they transform audiences into active characters within their intricately designed worlds.


 

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Sunday 28 July   

The Future Movement by The Ages and Stages/New Vic Collective

1pm, approx. 90 minutes
It doesn’t matter how old you are, you’ve never been there… a group of travellers take us to a future for older and younger people, moving together on a journey of unexpected turns, different directions and yet surprisingly similar paths.

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The Ages and Stages Theatre Company, a community company of older adult theatre makers, and New Vic Youth Theatre, for ages 13-15, are both resident groups at the New Vic Theatre. Together they form the Ages and Stages/New Vic Collective, breaking down barriers between generations and creating new work together.


 

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Saturday 3 August  

Lucy Parrott Writing Workshop

12 midday and 2pm, approx. 60 minutes 
Discover what you can create whilst listening to local writers perform their work in this interactive workshop. Do you dream of writing your story? In this practical workshop, you will be given writing prompts and discover the 'eight elements of freedom'. You never know, you might just find yourself performing your own piece on the day and tap into your inner creator. 

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Lucy Parrott runs creative writing workshops for home educated children and young adults and holistic writing workshops for adults. 


 

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Sunday 4 August 

Not This Tide! by Pegasus Performing Arts

12 midday and 2pm approx. 60 minutes 
Follow the story of Jack and his sister Violet as he is called to serve his country and fight in the trenches of WWI. Featuring authentic songs and war poetry as the stimulus for this story, Pegasus are proud to present this original piece by a group of home-educated students between the ages of nine and thirteen. 

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Pegasus Performing Arts runs drama classes for local home-educated children. They create a mixture of devising and script work, with a focus on creating historical pieces. Together the group learn about a specific time or event in history and bring it to life by devising their own piece of drama around it.


 

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Saturday 10 August 

Family Craft Workshop by Lying Lips Theatre Company

10.30 – 11.30am, Paccar Room, Level 2, Royal Shakespeare Theatre
Join members of Lying Lips Theatre Company and discover traditional Peruvian instruments and how to play them, inspired by the Amazonian music in their performance of The Tempest. You’ll also be able to make beaded sticks and jewellery inspired by Prospero’s staff.  

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The Tempest performed by Lying Lips Theatre Company

1pm, approx. 90 minutes 
Bringing enchantment and magic to The Tempest through Amazonian music and culture, Lying Lips Theatre Company perform through movement inspired by Butoh, music using traditional Peruvian instruments with rhythms and songs of the indigenous people of the Amazon. Directed by Nathalie Bazan.

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Lying Lips Theatre Company is a Birmingham based community theatre group, set up by Nathalie Bazan in 2014. The company provides opportunity for West Midlands talent, inspiring and educating actors through the rehearsal process. They help new writers produce their work; turning it from 'page to stage', with the opportunity to perform their work as future productions.


 

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Sunday 11 August 

Just Be You by MOBILISE ARTS 

1pm, approx. 90 minutes 
Welcome to Fairyland. River needs your help to find their fairy wings and Gaia, the goddess of the Earth, has an important message for us all. This playful piece of new outdoor musical family theatre will gently explore themes of wellbeing, nature and identity. We encourage dressing up and glitter but feel free to come as you are. Suitable for the whole family but focused on children aged 3-11 years.

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Written and Directed by Hannah Phillips 
Composition by Nik Haley 
Musical Direction by Rachel Jones 

Mobilise Arts are a socially engaged interdisciplinary arts-based company making bold new live and digital work for positive social change, to support health and wellbeing and as a form of agency for marginalised artists, participants and audiences. Artistic Director, Hannah Phillips also runs/directs Generation Q Collective at MAC (Midlands Arts Centre), a collective of emerging LGBTQIA artists aged 18-30 years.


 

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Saturday 17 August 

The Wedding of Touchstone & Audrey by SAVVY THEATRE COMPANY

12 midday and 2pm, approx. 45 minutes 
Audrey and Touchstone are celebrating their wedding anniversary and festivities have begun in the forest of Arden. Intertwining clowning, mask-work, audience participation and just a smattering of Shakespeare’s text, the celebrations will be something to remember.

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SAVVY Theatre Company is an inclusive, participatory theatre company, working with marginalised people, including adults with learning disabilities. They co-create ambitious theatre productions with community casts and believe everyone has the right to access quality theatre. Their vision is to use the power of theatre and shared creation to deepen understanding and empathy towards others. 


 

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Sunday 18 August

TWISTED TALES by Box House Theatre Company

12 midday and 2pm, approx. 60 minutes 
In a dystopian world where there is no possibility of choice and occupations are assigned at birth, we observe a group of actors who have been bred for one sole purpose: to entertain. A cast of six regal actors are confined to the space of a gym mat whilst showcasing four folk tales which all end with a twist. With moments that will make you laugh, and cry, Twisted Tales serves pure captivating entertainment. 

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Box House Theatre Company strives to break the norm of conventional storytelling through the use of carefully considered choreography, physical theatre and ingenuity. Box House Theatre developed Platform Theatre as a performance style which focuses on reducing theatres carbon footprint without sacrificing the standard of performance. Additionally, as part of their work they love to extend the company ethos through workshops to schools, theatres and communities where they teach Platform Theatre


 

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Sunday 25 August 

Actors in Search of a Bard by THE KING’S TROUPE 

12 midday and 2pm, approx. 60 minutes
Hamlet steps into A Midsummer Night’s Dream together with Juliet; Falstaff encounters the three witches from Macbeth in the Boar’s Head Tavern, Malvolio and Julius Caesar find themselves together in the Forest of Arden. The possibilities are endless! We invite you to join the absurdity and step into it with us, as we playfully explore this theatrical challenge through music, song, dance and more.  

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The King’s Troupe are an intergenerational community theatre group that specialises in the performance of Shakespeare. Based in Hebden Bridge West Yorkshire, they have been performing since 2010. They have no audition process and offer an inclusive welcome to all. 


 

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Saturday 31 August

All the Worlds by COTSWOLD PLAYERS

12 midday and 2pm, approx. 60 minutes 
Through a unique mix of Shakespeare’s characters, new writing and song, Costwold Players will take you on life’s extraordinary journey, based on Shakespeare’s famous speech ‘All the world’s a stage’, from As You Like It. A light-hearted, fun, fast and at times poignant piece, created collaboratively by the whole company.

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The Cotswold Players is an amateur theatre group based at The Cotswold Playhouse, Stroud, which is funded, run and maintained by volunteers. They perform five productions a year at the Playhouse which also hosts a wide range of visiting theatre companies and community activities.


 

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Sunday 1 September 

William Shakespeare's Cymbeline, Queered: An Open Rehearsal by PELÉ ROCKET 

12 midday and 2pm, approx. 60 minutes 
Bouncing off the text of this late and lesser-known Shakespeare play, an amateur cast explores scenes from Cymbeline through the lenses of queer life in all its joy and messiness, found family, and forgiveness. Audiences are invited to share the wonder of distilling possibly the wildest of Shakespeare's work into something simple, beautiful, and completely current for our times.

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Mikaela Moody, a queer, trans, disabled and Disfigured musician and aspiring theatre director, has created this collaboration with Red Wade especially for Open Stage after performing as part of the RSC’s 2023 production of Julius Caesar in the Community Chorus and wants to make art that celebrates life.


The Holloway Garden Theatre is generously supported by Charles Holloway.

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