Chester Open Air Theatre

Grosvenor Park Open Air Theatre in Chester first opened in 2010 and has firmly established itself as the finest outdoor theatre outside of London. The venue is produced by dynamic arts producer ‘Chester Performs’ and many in the National Press have described it as the northern alternative to London’s Globe Theatre. The season runs annually in summer and features a premier line-up of classic Shakespeare plays and brand new adaptations of literary classics. Seasons sell out fast and demand for tickets grows year on year, so much so that additional performance dates are usually added. Early booking is recommended, and the earlier you book the better value the ticket price as prices rise with demand. Book tickets via the website or direct from Chester Visitor Information Centre at the Town Hall.

The Venue

The Guardian has described Chester’s open air theatre as a ‘perfect wooden O’. The round venue in central Grosvenor Park is relaxed and intimate, holding 400 with covered and open seating, lawned areas and picnic terraces spread around the traditional Shakespearean thrust stage. Whichever seating you choose you’ll always have a great view of the stage.
Pamper VIP Picnic Spaces are also available for the ultimate outdoor theatre treat inclusive of reserved deckchairs, mini picnics and more! The picnic areas and lower picnic terraces both have wheelchair access.

Being outdoors is an integral part of the experience, and performances are rarely affected by bad weather – there is always the option of covered seating if preferred. Find out more on the website and discover great discounts available for children including under 12s go free, fantastic value Teenage tickets and discounts for under 20s and students.

Performance Times

Matinees and evening performances run across the summer season. Evening performances commence at 7.30pm, Saturday matinees start at 2.30pm, Sunday performances at 12pm and teatime specials begin at 4.30pm. The theatre opens 1 hour before the performance begins so you’ll have plenty of time to get settled with your picnic.

Getting There

Beautiful Grosvenor Park, venue for the open air theatre, sits in the heart of the city centre – postcode CH1 1QQ (Vicars Lane). Chester Station is a mere 10 minute stroll away and bus links are close by. The city centre has a number of public car parks – the nearest is on Pepper Street.

Food & Drink

There are various options for food and drink onsite. The venue is fully licensed so theatregoers can bring long their own food and drink if they wish. A picnic/ hamper service is also available to pre-order in advance, delivered fresh and straight to you on the day of your performance.

Michelle is an experienced travel writer with iknow and has travelled extensively across the UK, Spain, Portugal and the USA. When she’s not busy writing for iknow she enjoys spending time touring museums and art galleries and seeking out the best independent shops in Manchester and Leeds.