Outdoor Shakespeare Festival at Great Northern

01 Aug - 13 Aug

We’ve partnered with theatre company, The GOAT Mcr, to bring a summer of live Shakespeare to our amphitheatre this summer and we can’t wait!

Performed by some of the UK’s most exciting theatre companies, The Summer Shakespeare Festival will host a whole range of outdoor productions including Much Ado About Nothing, Macbeth, and Romeo & Juliet. The live performances will now start on a slightly later date of July 31st and run for three weeks until August 15th.

The brand-new company, The GOAT Mcr, has partnered with us to help support the arts and cultural industry as well as bring a never-before-seen theatre experience to the city. This is the first time in  years a live theatre experience has been held in our amphitheatre.

The new festival will centre around a new production of the classic Shakespeare comedy, Much Ado About Nothing, in collaboration with Cream Faced Loons. The updated play has been awarded a grant from Arts Council England and will be shown  across the three-week period, so don’t miss out!

Much Ado About Nothing will be a Pay-What-You-Can production, meaning that tickets for the new play can be bought for as little as £1.

Also, on the line-up this summer is David Visick’s new play, Waiting for Hamlet. Starring Tim Marriot, this twist on one of the Bard’s best known works locks King Hamlet and Yorick in a battle of wits between two old fools. The play has received multiple rave reviews and has also won the Kenneth Branagh New Drama Writing Award.

2M Theatre Company will be offering a discounted deal – £20 (£18) to come and watch Bottom’s Dream and Twelfth night across any of the performances. 2M Theatre was set up during the pandemic and specialis in creating outdoor Shakespeare performances. A troupe of 6 young professional performers – musicians, actors and an opera singer. witnessed our industry becoming decimated by the lockdown, came together to find a way to rebuild. This year they’re bringing two shows to the GOAT Manchester: Bottom’s Dream and Twelfth Night …

Sad that Shakespeare hasn’t written anything new for over 400 years? Well, hold onto your doublets, ruffs and trunk hose. The Bard is back! With story and verse improvised in the moment, enjoy a riotous new Shakespeare play every time – performed by Impromptu Shakespeare’s whip smart cast over our opening weekend. Packed with priceless wit, lyrical smarts, romance, and a dash of double-crossing, this leading ensemble do the Bard proud with a brand new one-act hit every time, inspired by audience suggestions. Impromptu Shakespeare have been a smash hit at the Edinburgh Fringe, Bristol Shakespeare Festival, and appeared on BBC Shakespeare Live.

Will & Co Theatre Company’s Bard in the Yard: The Scottish Play will be shown on August 7th and August 8th. In addition, Bard in the Yard: King Leonardo, will also be brought to audiences on August 8th. As a contemporary twist, the shows are set during the Covid-19 crisis, described by The Telegraph as “a 50-minute antidote to lockdown blues, delivered to perfection.”

On the last week of the festival, Flabbergast Theatre’s The Tragedy of Macbeth will be shown on August 14th, and Suitcase Shakespeare’s interpretation of romantic tragedy Romeo and Juliet will bring the festival to an almighty close on August 15th.

As well as the fantastic range of outdoor plays on offer, there will also be a special ‘Breaking Down the Bard’ Workshop’, run by the Cream Face Loons Theatre Company. Priced from £5, this workshop will walk guests through ways to approach Shakespeare in an accessible and playful way.

Don’t forget our  can grab a bite to eat at Great Northern before or after a show, or are welcome to bring a picnic. Please note though, no alcohol is allowed in the amphitheatre.

So, please make sure to bring a brolly, raincoat, picnic, cushions, bin bags and blankets as per a traditional Mancunian summer.

For more information on The Summer Shakespeare Festival and to book tickets, please visit: www.thegoatmcr.co.uk/shakespeare-festival


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