History

The amateur Stamford Shakespeare Company was founded in 1968 by Jean Harley, with a performance of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” in the Monastery Garden of the town’s historic George Hotel. It was under the auspices of the Stamford Arts Centre Committee in aid of the proposed new Arts Centre and restoration of the Georgian Theatre in St Mary’s Street.

In 1971, with the Arts Centre programme well under way the theatre group became independent and was named for the first time, the Stamford Shakespeare Company.

Open air Shakespeare plays continued at The George for nine years until the last performance in 1976. The hotel could no longer accommodate the summer open air theatre because of building work including a new car park and in August, 1976 the company had to look for another location.

By chance, Tolethorpe Hall came on the market in a near derelict state early in 1977 and it was acquired by the Stamford Shakespeare Company with the help of a generous private loan later repaid. The main interest was a natural amphitheatre in the grounds which was quickly converted into a concrete stepped, raked auditorium covered by a temporary canvas canopy. The first season opened May, 1977 with performances of ‘Macbeth” and “The Taming of the Shrew”.


Tolethorpe Hall

STAMFORD SHAKESPEARE
SEASON 2017

One of Europe's finest open air theatres

The Stamford Shakespeare Company present an annual season of plays in June, July and August at Rutland Open Air Theatre in the grounds of historic Tolethorpe Hall.

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BOOK TICKETS ONLINE

When the box office is open you can...

Book tickets 24 hours a day on our secure online box office. Alternatively, call the box office on 01780 756133 (9.30am-8pm, Mon-Sat)

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DINING AT
TOLETHORPE HALL

Making the most of your theatre night out

Enjoy a pre-performance buffet meal in the charming dining rooms of historic Tolethorpe Hall. You can choose from a varied selection of starters, carved meats, fresh fish, savoury flans and salads.

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WHAT OUR VISITORS SAY

"I laughed all the way through. A very uplifting experience. Tom jones"
Lynne

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"I just wanted to say how much I enjoyed the matinee performance of Romeo and Juliet."
Emma

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"I have been a huge fan of Tolethorpe for many years and last nights performance of Henry V was outstandingly good"
Elizabeth

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"We hugely enjoyed our evening including a rattling good performance of Hamlet."
Richard Todd OBE

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CONTACT STAMFORD SHAKESPEARE COMPANY


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