Living Southampton

📰 Shakespeare in the Cloisters

 A Midsummer Night’s Dream – July 5th, 6th & 7th


The atmospheric ruins of the Beaulieu Abbey Cloister will provide an evocative backdrop for an open-air production of one of Shakespeare’s best-loved comedies A Midsummer Night’s Dream on July 5th, 6th and 7th.

The play will be performed by the Castle Theatre Company, which offers some of the best student drama in the UK and this year celebrates its 39th Summer Shakespeare Tour of castles and manor houses across the country.

An immortal tale of magic, love and hilarity, A Midsummer Night’s Dream takes it characters on a dream-like journey through the forest, where nothing is quite as it seems. Eloping lovers Hermia and Lysander, pursued by Demetrius, Hermia’s betrothed, and Helena, who is secretly in love with Demetrius, enter the realm of the fairy king and queen, Oberon and Titania and fairy servant Puck. With magical love potions, mistaken identities and a troupe of amateur actors, the course of true love certainly doesn’t run smoothly.

The performances of Shakespeare in the Cloisters will start at 7pm, while with the abbey grounds open an hour earlier at 6pm for the audience to picnic. If it rains, the performance will move inside the Abbey Domus.

Tickets are £12 an adult and £10 for under-16s and concessions. Parking will be in the Beaulieu attraction Arena. Tickets can be bought in advance online at www.beaulieu.co.uk/events or by calling 01590 612888 or emailing .


  • Montagu ancestor Henry Wriothesley, the 3rd Earl of Southampton, was the only acknowledged patron of Shakespeare and dedicated two of his poems to the Earl – Venus & Adonis and The Rape of Lucrece. Many Shakespearean scholars believe the Earl was the ‘Fair Youth’ of Shakespeare’s sonnets and it is not inconceivable that one or more of the Bard’s plays may have been performed for the first time at the Domus at Beaulieu. The Earl’s hunting lodge was what later became known as Palace House at Beaulieu.

    • Shakespeare in the Cloisters

    Shakespeare in the Cloisters - Photo Credit: Beaulieu Motor Museum