Kilworth House Open air theatre

Last week I was fortunate enough to be offered a ticket to Kilworth House Theatre with my sister’s work. I had visited the theatre there once before and absolutely loved it so there was no second thought given before I jumped at the ticket.

Log cabin Kilworth House

Kilworth House is a Grade Two listed building set in the heart of Leicestershire, a country estate that was once a family home has been turned into a prestigious hotel and restaurant where you can find some of the best afternoon tea in the county. The theatre (it is hard to believe living local) opened back in 2007 and has been selling out ever since. The surroundings are absolutely magical, it feels as if you have been completely transported to some mystical new place with log cabins and fairy lights leading you over wooden bridges and idyllic streams.

Pip studio plate, home made scones, cream jam and fresh strawberries and raspberries

I have to admit the first time they announced the productions at Kilworth House I was sceptical. I have lived in Leicestershire all my life and nothing that great ever happened so I had a preconceived idea of these being very basic adaptation of West End plays. But how wrong could I have been! The standard is as high as what you would expect to see in London with surroundings you couldn’t even begin to wish for. I for one can vouch that after seeing Legally Blonde in London and Kilworth House the standard was absolutely spot on.

Kilworth House has created an experience that no theatre elsewhere can recreate, they have covered the weather situation as you
sit under a giant canopy and blankets are available and you are more than welcome to bring your own. My favourite part of the experience is the picnic, unlike other theatres where drink and food prices are hiked up Kilworth house encourages you to make an afternoon or an evening of this occasion and enjoy the grounds they have to offer by taking a picnic along to eat before the
production which is exactly what we did on Friday night.

These are my tips when attending the outdoor theatre.

Pack blankets and socks – I can’t stress how important layers are in the evening, the temperatures do drop and you will be grateful for a good pair of socks and a thick blanket.

Do make the most of being there– The grounds are amazing and worth looking at. Take a picnic if the weather is good and enjoy a lovely afternoon in the country

The only photo of the picnic, it was too good to wait. This Jam from Marks and Spencers is an essential at all picnics this summer

Be picnic savvy – It is tempting to go straight through when you get there, the area in front of the log cabin is so picturesque but you won’t have anywhere to keep your picnic when you go to your seats so it means walking it all back up to the car. There is a great little picnic area with picnic tables to the right of the cars which is where I would recommend sitting if you have a lot of food enjoying the sunshine there and then wander down to the theatre when you are ready.

Don’t worry about where your seat is – On both of my visits I have been fortunate enough to be sitting in the front row and I love it, it is slightly strange being that close to the performers as they must see me staring at them in complete awe but the theatre is the perfect size so there really is not a bad seat in the house, so when booking do not worry if there are only seats left at the top you will still have a great view.

Take snacks – You are allowed to take your own treats into the theatre so don’t forget to pack some share bags of chocolates etc, the theatre is always made better with a few Cadburys chocolate eclairs- avoid russelly packets, though, remember people have paid to watch the play and not hear you eat. There is also a bar and shop that is open before during and after the production in case you get peckish.

Treat yourself– If you are going for a special occasion or picnics are just not for you, then why not treat yourself to dinner in the Orangery or Wordsworth Restaurants? The hotel is just a short walk away from the theatre and they are two very different yet amazing experiences. These are hugely popular so make sure you book way in advance.

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