The Festival Theatre has played at Hever Castle, each summer, for the last 40 years and is the longest running open-air theatre in the South East.  The vibrant and varied programme includes opera, plays, jazz, music, speakers, comedy, family favourites and the best tribute artists.  Opening in 2023 on Saturday 27th May with Shakespeare’s As You Like It.

Events take place at four picturesque locations: Two Sisters’ Theatre, The Loggia, Anne Boleyn’s Walk, and for one night only the castle can be your stunning back drop as you picnic on the main lawn and enjoy Illyria’s production of Pride and Prejudice.  There are 40 good reasons to visit this season with something for everyone from Horrible Histories Barmy Britain 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.

A plethora of world-class companies will help to celebrate 40 wonderful years including: Wild Arts with their performance of ‘The Elixir of Love, opera packed with big tunes, romance, and mischievous comedy, sung in English;  The Duke’s Theatre Company with Twelfth Night and there’s plenty of opportunity to dance the night away with The Ultimate ABBA Experience, Swinging at the Cotton Club and How Sweet It Is -The Greatest Hits of Motown.

Set in the award-winning gardens of Hever Castle, childhood home of Anne Boleyn, history is always at the heart of the festival and this year is no exception.  Dr Owen Emmerson and Kate McCaffrey will present their new talk on the current exhibition at Hever Castle, Catherine and Anne: Queens, Rivals, Mothers and the ground-breaking discoveries found within Anne Boleyn’s Book of Hours.   

This year the festival performs with their neighbours and will be holding their first ever event at Hever Castle Golf Club with Dinner Jazz with saxophonist Heather Hoyle, energetic and full of original music at the Waterside Restaurant.  There is also an opportunity to visit two castles in one day as they bring three Sunday afternoon family events to The Orangery at Chiddingstone Castle.

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. 

Take your picnic and celebrate with them.

The box office is now open:  07379 488477