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Shakespeare, Liver Birds, Peter Pan and more at Calderstones Park this summer

1 year ago

Shakespeare, Liver Birds, Peter Pan and more at Calderstones Park this summer

The Reader will host a huge lineup of outdoor performances this summer in the Garden Theatre in Calderstones Park.

Shakespeare, The Magic Flute and Peter Pan will all be popping up along with exciting new productions that combine classic storytelling with a sprinkle of magic. 

The summer season will run from 16 July to 3 September and has been designed to offer visitors of all ages a chance to come together, enjoy new experiences and have fun.  

The programme kicks off on Sunday 16 July with a performance of The Magic Flute by Opera Anywhere. The family-friendly production brings the music of Mozart to life with a witty script celebrating teen culture.  

Mike Woodward, Co-Founder, Opera Anywhere, said: 

“We’re excited to make our Calderstones debut with the Magic Flute, bringing this magical world to The Reader’s community.   

“We’ve developed the production to be totally accessible from age 4 upwards – sung in English, edited to maintain momentum with a few puppets too! It starts at 4pm so all the family can enjoy!”  

Also making their first appearance in the Garden Theatre will be The Fabularium Astronomers who will be giving two performances of The Hare and The Moon on Thursday 20 July. The show combines song, storytelling and energetic performances that promise to leave audiences enchanted and delighted in equal measure.  

The Allerton Oak in Calderstones Park

On Sunday 23 July local touring company, ArtsGroupie CIC, will make a welcome return to Calderstones following their sell-out performance of ‘Kitty: Queen of the Washhouse’. They will be giving two performances of their interactive family show, The Liver Bird, which features the park’s very own Allerton Oak.  

On Sunday 30 July, The Handlebards will also be wheeling into the Garden Theatre once again with a hilarious and high-octane production of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Fast, funny and fearless, The Handlebards’ uniquely irreverent brand of Shakespeare never fails to leave audiences at Calderstones laughing out loud.  

There will be special performances inside the Mansion House on Monday 28 August as The Reader marks Liverpool’s ‘birthday’ with ArtsGroupie’s A Portrait of William Roscoe. The show celebrates the life and times of this ‘true son of Liverpool’ who was a banker, poet, writer, collector and one of England’s first abolitionists.  

On Wednesday 30 AugustThe Lord Chamberlain’s Men will be performing Romeo and Juliet as the Bard himself would have seen it – outdoors, with an all-male cast and Elizabethan costumes, music and dance.    

The final performance of the season will be Slapstick Picnic’s Peter Pan on Sunday 3 September. This three-actor production of J.M. Barrie’s classic play will be told with an untraditional twist and a pinch of naughtiness.  

The Reader at Calderstones Park

The Mansion House’s Garden Theatre was added to the Grade II listed Mansion House in 1947 after Calderstones Park became a popular open air theatre venue during the Second World War. The theatre was brought back to life in 2019 as part of an extensive refurbishment of the Mansion House which was overseen by The Reader.  

Katie Clark, Director of Literature at The Reader said:  

“Last year was about welcoming audiences back after the pandemic. This year we want to build on that by offering a wide range of performances that are accessible, relevant and recognisable.  

“We’re especially excited to offer children and families an opportunity to see amazing theatre performances here for the first time.   

“Calderstones has a long history of entertaining audiences from in and around the local community and we hope to see this tradition continue for many years to come!”   

Thanks to The National Lottery Heritage Fund, residents of L15 (Wavertree), L19 (Garston) and L24 (Speke) who are likely to experience barriers to accessing arts and culture can receive free tickets to all performances by joining The Reader’s Front Door Key scheme. Tickets will be allocated on a first come, first served basis.  

For all ticket bookings, visit The Reader website at

Get the latest theatre news for Liverpool HERE



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