About Theatre and Opera

Introduction

In summer 1982 Kentwell hosted its first Open Air Performance - of Shakespeare's The Tempest - and thereafter every year since has hosted Open Air Performances - whatever the weather.

We have four different areas where we put on performances. On the Front Lawns in front of the House (usually for concerts); on the Cedar Lawn to the east of the House (usually for Plays & Opera); the across the Fishpond (usually for smaller more intimate performances); and the Overcroft Theatre (for small, indoor performances).

For all open air evening performances the audience can enjoy supper, by bringing their own picnic.

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Weather

Performances continue whatever the weather so bring suitable clothing for the likely conditions. However, DO NOT raise umbrellas during the performance. So warm or waterproof clothing may be necessary.

Performance Timings

For evening outdoor performances
Gates Open at 6.00pm. The performances usually start at 7.45pm. There will usually be a 45 minute interval for evening outdoor performances, where guests may walk in the grounds. Performances usually end at approximately 11.00pm or 11.15pm.

For evening indoor performances
Gates Open at 7.00pm. The performance usually starts at 7.30pm or 7.45pm. There will be a short interval.

For afternoon outdoor performances
Gates Open at 2.30pm. The performance will start at 3.00pm. There will usually be one interval of about 20 minutes. Performances usually end at approximately 5.00pm.

Catering for evening outdoor performances

You may picnic anywhere in the Gardens except the stage and audience areas. You may begin your picnic before the show starts or during the one hour supper interval during which the Gardens will be floodlit and finish it after the show.

Picnic Tables
We have available for hire a number of picnic tables with integral seating (for 2, 4, 6 & 8 persons). These must be booked in advance, as an addition to your theatre seating. Please note that the picnic table hire does not include your theatre ticket!

Seating

Groundlings: spaces on the ground, in front of the seating - bring a rug or a cushion but not a chair.

Under Cover: seats on stepped staging. Each level of staging has a front row, middle rows and a back row.

Not Under Cover: seats outdoors. If the weather is inclement, you may need a hat!

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All images and text © Kentwell Hall, Long Melford, Suffolk CO10 9BA