6 July – 25 August
Written by William Shakespeare
Directed by Bill Buckhurst
“I had rather hear my dog bark at a crow, than a man swear he loves me.”
Shakespearean comedy returns to Grosvenor Park Open Air Theatre this summer.
Is it love, or is it hate? Shakespeare’s masterpiece of merriment, wooing and winning of hearts.
Running time is approximately 2 hours and 45 minutes, including a 15 minute interval.
Don Pedro, Prince of Arragon, pays a visit to Leonata, the governor of Messina, while returning from a victorious campaign against his rebellious brother, Don John. Accompanying him are two of his officers, Benedick and Claudio. While in Messina, Claudio falls for Leonato’s daughter, Hero; Benedick verbally spars with Beatrice, the governor’s niece. The budding love between Claudio and Hero prompts Don Pedro to arrange with Leonato for the marriage.
Meanwhile, the trickery begins as Don Pedro (with the help of Leonato and Claudio) attempts to sport with Benedick and Beatrice in an effort to make the two of them fall in love. Likewise, Hero and her waiting woman help to set up Beatrice. Both Benedick and Beatrice will think that the other has professed a great love for them.
The marriage of Claudio to Hero is set to go. Don John—ostensibly reconciled with his brother—despises Claudio, however, and plots against him. First, he tells Claudio that Pedro wants Hero for himself; next, he enlists the aid of his henchman Borachio and one of Hero’s gentlewomen disguised as Hero to stage an encounter that will bring Hero’s virtue into question. Claudio falls for the ruse and denounces Hero at the altar. Friar Francis helps her, hiding her away and enlisting the aid of Leonata, who announces that his daughter has died of grief from the proceeding.
Fortunately for Hero, Borachio is arrested while drunkenly boasting of his part in the plan (and the 1,000 ducats paid him). With Borachio’s confession, Hero is to be exonerated. Leonato demands a public apology from Claudio, then tells him that he will allow Claudio to marry one of his nieces in Hero’s place—a niece that turns out to be none other than Hero herself. Claudio and Hero are reunited, Benedick and Beatrice will wed alongside them, and they receive the news that the bastard Don John has been apprehended.
Friday 6 July 7.30pm
Saturday 7 July 2.15pm
Saturday 7 July 7.30pm
Sunday 8 July 4.30pm
Saturday 14 July 7.30pm
Wednesday 18 July 7.30pm
Thursday 19 July 7.30pm
Friday 20 July 7.30pm
Saturday 21 July 7.30pm
Sunday 29 July 4.30pm
Tuesday 31 July 7.30pm
Thursday 2 August 7.30pm
Saturday 4 August 7.30pm
Wednesday 8 August 7.30pm
Friday 10 August 7.30pm
Saturday 11 August 2.15pm
Tuesday 14 August 7.30pm
Thursday 16 August 7.30pm
Wednesday 22 August 7.30pm
Friday 24 August 7.30pm
Saturday 25 August 7.30pm
*Over 60s concessions available at this performance
Ways to Book
The easiest, and cheapest, way to book. Pick your own seats. Safe, secure booking system, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week . Head here to book.
01244 409 113 (option #1) £2.50 phone transaction fee applies
Mon – Fri: 9am – 8pm | Sat: 9am – 7.30pm | Sun: 9am – 7pm
in person – at Storyhouse
Tickets can be booked using the kiosks in the Storyhouse building (Hunter Street, Chester).
£22.50 – £45 – book early for the best prices!
Under 12’s go FREE (each child must be accompanied by a full paying adult, please note: FREE children still require a valid ticket)
£7 off for under 26s
£7 off for over 60s (selected shows, see schedule above)
Groups of 10+ save £3 per full priced ticket
Groups of 25+ save £5 per full priced ticket
About Grosvenor Park Open Air Theatre
Grosvenor Park Open Air Theatre is one of the country’s best-loved open air theatres and regularly plays to sold out audiences across the summer. The sounds of popping corks, picnics unpacked and happy audiences is the defining sound of Chester’s summer.
Grosvenor Park Open Air Theatre is produced by Storyhouse, Chester’s award-winning cultural centre which opened in May 2017.