2018 season


The Merry Wives of Windsor

The old rogue Sir John Falstaff has returned penniless from the war and plans to seduce two ‘merry wives’. Shakespeare’s hilarious comedy is his nearest approach to a farce, with people forever rushing in and out of doors, including a comic Welsh parson, a manic French doctor and a madly jealous husband.

Depicting middle-class family life in an English provincial town, our production is set in 1947, a time of austerity and optimism, when women are finding a new role in post-war Britain and our musicians at the Garter Inn are playing 40’s jazz.

Mistress Ford & Mistress Page


The Merchant of Venice

Venice, 1596 and Antonio, an honourable merchant, enters into a chilling contract to enable his dearest friend to woo a beautiful heiress, whose fate lies waiting within caskets of gold, silver and lead.

At the heart of the story stands Shylock, the Jewish moneylender, one of Shakespeare’s greatest and most complex characters.

This remarkable play, with its explorations of prejudice, love, justice, and the power of money, deeply resonates to us in these present turbulent times, but it also stands alone, as a truly gripping story. 

Nerissa, Prince of Morocco & Portia


The School for Scandal

Richard Brinsley Sheridan’s classic comedy sparkles with wit, verbal brilliance and an intricate plot exposing the lives and loves of fashionable London society.

Sir Peter Teazle’s simple country bride becomes leader of a group of scandalmongers who tear their friends’ reputations to shreds. Can anyone escape the outrageous gossip of, amongst others, the aptly named Benjamin Backbite, Lady Sneerwell, Mrs Candour and Snake?

This wonderfully funny play is one of the most engaging high comedies in the English language.

Crabtree, Sir Oliver, Mrs Candour & Sir Benjamin Backbite


Performance Times:

Evening performance – 7.45pm start
Matinée performance – 1.30pm start



"One of the finest things to do this summer."
The Sunday Times

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"One of England's premier alfresco theatre venues."
The Stage

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"It really was superb... the scenery, costumes and actors were all fantastic, as per usual... another brilliant production."
Tracy (patron watching Hobson’s Choice in 2017)

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"One of the most entertaining plays I have seen in a long time."
Carol (patron watching Hobson’s Choice in 2017)

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"First experience yesterday and will most definitely be back... as good as any West End show I've seen... just brilliant."
Jo (patron watching A Midsummer Night’s Dream in 2017)

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"One of the funniest and best performances I’ve seen in over 25 years of visiting Tolethorpe for my annual fix of Shakespeare."
Melissa (patron watching Much Ado About Nothing in 2017)

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"Hilarious... the production was inventive... the acting was superb... this was one of my most enjoyable experiences at a Shakespeare production ever."
Steve (patron watching Much Ado About Nothing in 2017)

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"Reaching new levels of excellence and innovation... some of the most compelling acting I've seen at Tolethorpe, full of passion and humanity and delivered with crystal clear diction."
Peterborough Telegraph (review of Much Ado About Nothing in 2017)

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"Best play I've seen at Tolethorpe... amazing comic timing... laughing out loud... fantastic play."
Stamford Mercury (review of Much Ado About Nothing in 2017)

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"The set design is excellent... the audience in stitches... a hoot."
Sardines Magazine (review of Much Ado About Nothing in 2017)

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"Excellent sets... another outstanding performance... nicely judged and hilariously managed."
Peterborough Telegraph (review of Hobson’s Choice in 2017)

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"Excellently played... the comic timing of lines is perfect."
Sardines Magazine (review of Hobson’s Choice in 2017)

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"Rollicking rendition of a classic comedy... talented cast... great comic timing... had the audience in stitches."
Leicester Mercury (review of A Midsummer Night’s Dream in 2017)

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"First class... costumes are marvellous... actors are all excellent... the audience rock with laughter."
Sardines Magazine (review of A Midsummer Night’s Dream in 2017)

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"We hugely enjoyed our evening, including a rattling good performance of Hamlet."
Richard Todd OBE (guest of honour at a production of Hamlet in 2000)

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