The Festival Theatre Celebrate Their 40th Year

June 21 2023 | What's on

The Festival Theatre has played at Hever Castle, each summer, without a break, for the last 40 Summers. This makes them the longest running open-air theatre in the South East (only beaten countywide by Regents Park and The Minack Theatre). It is definitely time to celebrate. The Festival Theatre is looking ahead to 40 brilliant events to mark their 40th year. Surely there is an event for everyone from Horrible Histories Barmy Britain – New! to The Wizard of Oz, The Dolly Show to the Last Night of the Hever Proms or Nightingale the Ballet to The Best of Baroque with the Guildhall Strings.

The Festival Theatre has just finished their opening week and now, before the season returns in full swing at the end of July, are holding a few more intimate new musical events: Dinner Jazz with saxophonist Heather Hoyle and Titipu Tea: Afternoon Tea concerts with Charles Court opera.

New arrivals at the theatre include Wild Arts with The Elixir of Love – a romantic opera packed with big tunes and mischievous comedy, sung in English and the energetic, full of original music Duke’s Theatre Company with Twelfth Night. History is at our heart with a new play The Sphere of Light set at Hever Castle and a talk by the Hever Castle historians on the new exhibition at Hever Castle on ground-breaking discoveries found within Anne Boleyn’s Book of Hours. Charles Court Opera return with Come and Sing The Pirates of Penzance where the audience sing the choruses from your seats. The festival are delighted to welcome 1974 ABBA, The Dolly Show, How Sweet It Is -The Greatest Hits of Motown, all visiting for the first time with their world class shows.

Alongside their picturesque home, the Two Sisters’ Theatre, The Loggia, Main Lawn and Anne Boleyn’s Walk they will be holding their first ever event at Hever Castle Golf Club. The festival is also excited to be venturing further afield to The Orangery at Chiddingstone Castle for three Sunday afternoon family events, The Grimm Sisters, Peter Pan with Slapstick Picnic and The Jungle Book. Why not visit two castles in one day Chiddingstone in the afternoon and Hever in the evening?

This is the time to start booking your summer events. The Two Sisters’ Lawn, Rose Garden and Lakeside offer picturesque views for picnics before the evening performances and tickets for matinee performances includes entry into the castle gardens after the show has finished. Don’t forget it is possible to purchase discounted joint garden and theatre entry tickets, afternoon tea and pre-theatre suppers alongside standard tickets and new for 2023: just for the BSL community, a ticket for the BSL castle tour as well as theatre and garden entry before the ‘Catherine and Anne’ talk.

Hever Castle Members and Hever Castle Golf Club members receive a 10% discount for many events and catering at the event you attend. Book via the festival website or by phone 07379 488 477 (Mon – Fri 10am – 2pm) using the discount code HCM2023 or HCG2023. A valid membership card will need to be shown on arrival and discounted tickets can be purchased for the card holders use only.