A breath of fresh air: Your guide to this summer's outdoor cultural events

Forget about the lack of sun – grab a picnic (and a brolly) and head outside for some of the summer’s finest cultural events

1. Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre, Regent’s Park, London

One of the most enchanting outdoor theatres, the staging at Regent’s Park  almost creeps out of the woodland. Partly  because it’s in the hands of artistic director Timothy Shearer. Pride And Prejudice, The Winter’s Tale (Re-Imagined), The Sound Of Music and Dinosaur Zoo follow the stunning success of To Kill A Mockingbird.

To 8 September (openairtheatre.com)

2. Moore Rodin, The Henry Moore Foundation, Perry Green, Hertfordshire

The first time such a large group of Rodin’s sculptures have been presented in the British landscape; it’s also the first time another artist has been shown alongside Moore in what was his own family garden (created by his wife Irina). Eight Rodins are on show including “Walking Man”, “Large Torso 1906” and “The Burghers of Calais”.

To 27 October (henry-moore.org), free

3. Chatsworth House, Bakewell, Derbyshire

The 105-acre garden that houses a glorious maze, rockery and waterfalls, will also play host to free outdoor theatre this summer.

Horrible Histories, 30-31 July; Pride & Prejudice, 1 August; West End Classic concert, 2 August (chatsworth.org)

4. Opera Holland Park, London

A spectacular canopied theatre in leafy West London hosts six new productions  including Pagliacci, Madame Butterfly and a new family opera based on Lewis Carroll’s Alice In Wonderland. The City of London Sinfonia accompanies the consistently excellent singers/actors.

To 3 August (opera hollandpark.com)

5. The Serpentine  Gallery Pavilion, Kensington Gardens, London

At 41, Japanese architect Sou Fujimoto is the youngest architect to accept the prestigious job of creating a temporary structure for London’s Serpentine Gallery, following the likes of Herzog & de Meuron, Frank Gehry and Oscar Niemeyer. He’s inspired by organic structures – forests, nests, caves. And clouds – that’s what the beautifully delicate and transparent latticed building evokes.

To 20 October (serpentinegallery.org), free

6. Eden Sessions, Eden Project,  St. Blazey, Cornwall

The XX, Sigur Ros, Kaiser Chiefs and Jessie J provide the 2013 line-up at the UK’s largest greenhouse. An inflatable “pillow” marquee will mirror the giant domes of hexagonal and pentagonal plastic cells to host the shows. Always great spectacles.

29, 30 June, 2, 13, 14 July (edenproject.com)

7. BP Big Screens, The Royal Opera and The Royal Ballet, nationwide

Live relays, all over the country, of summer highlights from Covent Garden. Angela Gheorghiu appears as Magda in Puccini’s La Rondine on 11 July; Jonathan Kent’s production of Puccini’s Tosca is revived on 18 July. Expect interval  entertainment from backstage, and possibly a live curtain call (London’s Trafalgar Square audience only). Sites include Trafalgar Square, London; Millennium Square, Leeds; Centenary Square, Bradford; The Hayes, Cardiff; Exchange Square, Manchester; Wharf Green, Swindon; Walthamstow Town Square, Waltham Forest;  Guildhall Square, Portsmouth.

11 & 18 July (roh.org.uk), free

8. Fresh Air 2013, Quenington Old Rectory, Cirencester, Gloucestershire

The UK’s biennial sculpture exhibition that plants cutting edge contemporary work and modern classics into a stunning outdoor setting. Too many names to mention.

To 7 July (freshair2013.com), children free

9. Greenwich and Docklands International Festival, Greenwich, London (cover picture) 

Epic aerial dance opens Greenwich and Docklands International Festival on 22 June when Wired Aerial Theatre will fly across a 12-metre screen in the grounds of the National Maritime Museum. Physical theatre masters Tangled Feet (28 & 29 June) present One Million, a pyrotechnic/ musical/ acrobatic spectacle featuring 100 performers. Cutty Sark Gardens, Island Gardens, Greenwich Park and Old Royal Navel College are all host to wild, creative abandonment over the eight days.

To 29 June (festival.org), free

10. City Of London Festival, London

A gem of a festival, that encroaches, musically, on every nook and cranny of the city of London for a month in the summer; this is the last of visionary director Ian Ritchie’s eight years at the helm. Spots to go for are the base of the Gherkin, on Wednesday lunchtimes, and Guildhall Yard, from 1 to 5 July at lunchtimes; on 28 June, 1,000 children will end their Festival Children’s Parade with a performance on the steps of St Paul’s Cathedral.

23 June to 26 July (colf.org), free

11. Leeds Castle, Kent

Classical movies, fireworks and open air cinema erupt at various points during the summer season at this most beautiful of castles; the Royal Philharmonic stage their Open Air Classical Concert – featuring the Military Wives – on 13 July; and Luna Cinema present outdoor screenings of The Blues Brothers and Casablanca against the historic backdrop of the castle, on 6 & 7 July. 6 to 13 July (leeds-castle.com)

12. Latitude, Henham Park, Suffolk

Now in its eighth year, Latitude is bursting out of its seams. Eddie Izzard, Daniel Kitson and Dylan Moran headline the comedy;  Kraftwerk and Hot Chip fly the dance music flag; theatre companies include National Theatre Wales and Royal Exchange Manchester; literary names include Carol Ann Duffy and Germaine Greer; plus cabaret, film scores, and art installations.

18 to 21 July (latitudefestival.com)

13. Macbeth, Manchester International Festival, Bridgewater Hall Car Park

Witness Kenneth Branagh’s first Shakespeare performance on stage in 10 years, as he partners Alex Kingston in Macbeth – screened as a live relay for one night only, at an outdoor screen erected in Bridgewater Hall Car Park, on 20 July. The Tony award-winning director Rob Ashford is at the helm, with Branagh co-directing. The production is being staged in an intimate deconsecrated Manchester church and is the hot ticket of this 18 day-long visionary festival led by Alex Poots.

20 July (mif.co.uk)

14. Tramlines, Sheffield

Famous for its line-up and for being free, now in its fifth year Tramlines has had to introduce a fee of £6 – but there’s still a chunk of music for free. Performers include Lianne La Havas, Toddla T Sound, Veronica Falls, Duke Dumont, New Young Pony Club and Shangaan Electro.

19 to 21 July (2013.tramlines.org.uk)

15. Festival At The Edge, Stokes Barn, Shropshire

The oldest international storytelling festival in England, nestled alongside the magical Wenlock Edge. Newly commissioned stories from a huge and eclectic group of tellers combine with practical workshops, story rounds and informal music sessions. There is also a separate children’s festival.

19 to 21 July (festivalattheedge.org)

16. Secret Garden Party,  Mill Hill Field, Abbots Ripton, Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire

Musical acts like Cherub, Natty, Django Django and Pete Molinari will be joined by comedians, speakers and actors for this four-day long hit festival. Talks include the intriguing “If we could eradicate all recreational drugs overnight, should we?” featuring ex-government drugs czar, Professor David Nutt, Jamie Catto (One Giant Leap, founding member of Faithless), Mike Powers (author – Drugs 2.0) and Rachel Seifert (documentary film maker – Cocaine Unwrapped).

25 to 28 July (secretgardenparty.com)

17. Monmouth Festival, Wales

Nine days of free gigs to suit all tastes in the Welsh border market town – folk, rock, punk, ska, classical, jazz and pop are all on the programme. Concerts take place nightly on a large open-air stage in Blestium Street car park.

26 July to 3 August (monmouthfestival.co.uk), free

18. Brighton’s Big Screen

The year’s big movies will get an outdoor screening on the beach again, with Les Miserables already confirmed for 4 August (4.30pm) and Oblivion for 10 August (8.30pm). The good news is that the screen has got even bigger – it’s now an almighty 40 square metres. Find it next to Brighton Pier (hard to miss).

30 July to 26 August (murray-media.co.uk), free

19. Edinburgh International Fringe Festival

Some of the best theatre and storytelling appears outside  – in alleyways, garages, bridges, rooftops, hilltops, courtyards, sand pits and river banks. Visiting companies give regular previews of their shows on the Mound daily. And the magnificent Arthur’s Seat will be host to a free, daily, show – not yet announced – if you can manage the climb.

2 to 26 August (edfringe.com)

20. Dartington International Summer School,  Dartington, Devon

Listen to free recitals on the Great Lawn of the magnificent Dartington Hall, courtesy of the students of the annual Dartington Music Summer School. Jazz bands, tea bands, chamber orchestras and choirs will showcase their wares on most Thursdays at 4pm. A new site specific work, Voices In The Garden, premieres on 23 August – different choirs will pop up as the audience moves through Dorothy Elmhirst’s magnificently conceived 1920s gardens.

27 July to 31 August (dartington.org/summer-school), free

21. Film4 Summer Screen,  Somerset House, London

The world premiere of the new Richard  Curtis comedy About Time kicks off 14 nights of open-air cinema (huge screen, surround sound, framed by magnificent courtyard). Other UK premieres include The Way, Way Back, starring Toni Collette and Sam Rockwell and comedy Prince Avalanche. Plus classics such as Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid  and Badlands.

8 to 21 August (somersethouse.org.uk)

22. Just So Festival, Cheshire

A festival of creativity designed for families, combining art, music, literature and theatre within the enchanting landscape of the Rode Hall Estate. Learn how to build rockets, design fairy cities and turn kitchen utensils into an orchestra.

16 to 18 August (justsofestival.org.uk)

23. The Sting In The Tail, Dorset

Now in its 10th year, stories come to life in some of East Dorset’s most atmospheric settings: an Iron Age earthhouse, stately homes and castles, plus story walks through Wimborne and Poole.

16 to 26 August (stinginthetale.org.uk)

24. Everything Under The Sun, International School of Storytelling, East Sussex

Renowned Nigerian poet and author Ben Okri gives the keynote address at the International School of Storytelling’s annual event. There are storywalks through meadows, and songs from Africa with Sibongile Tsoanyane.

23 to 26 August (schoolofstorytelling.com)

25. Proms in the Park, Hyde  Park, London; Caerphilly;  Belfast; Glasgow

The world’s greatest, and longest classical music festival comes to an end in big green spaces all over the UK. Each park will have its own host and musicians. Confirmed names include tenor Joseph Calleja, violinist extraordinaire Nigel Kennedy; pop legend Bryan Ferry; and Dame Edna Everage. Bring a flag.

7 September (bbc.co.uk/proms/features/ proms-in-the-park)

Arts and Entertainment
Kathy (Sally Lindsay) in Ordinary Lies
tvReview: The seemingly dull Kathy proves her life is anything but a snoozefest
Arts and Entertainment

Listen to his collaboration with Naughty Boy

music
Arts and Entertainment
Daniel Craig in a scene from ‘Spectre’, released in the UK on 23 October

film
Arts and Entertainment
Cassetteboy's latest video is called Emperor's New Clothes rap

film
Arts and Entertainment

Poldark review
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
Arts and Entertainment
TV
Arts and Entertainment
Katie Brayben is nominated for Best Actress in a Musical for her role as Carole King in Beautiful

film
Arts and Entertainment
Israeli-born actress Gal Gadot has been cast to play Wonder Woman
film
News
Top Gear presenter James May appears to be struggling with his new-found free time
people
Arts and Entertainment
Kendrick Lamar at the Made in America Festival in Los Angeles last summer
music
Arts and Entertainment
'Marley & Me' with Jennifer Aniston and Owen Wilson
film
Arts and Entertainment
Jon Hamm (right) and John Slattery in the final series of Mad Men
tv
Arts and Entertainment
theatre
Arts and Entertainment
Place Blanche, Paris, 1961, shot by Christer Strömholm
photographyHow the famous camera transformed photography for ever
Arts and Entertainment
The ‘Westmacott Athlete’
art
Arts and Entertainment
‘The Royals’ – a ‘twisted, soapy take on England’s first family’
tv Some of the characters appear to have clear real-life counterparts
News
Brooks is among a dozen show-business professionals ever to have achieved Egot status
people
Arts and Entertainment
A cut above: Sean Penn is outclassed by Mark Rylance in The Gunman
film review
Arts and Entertainment
arts + ents
Arts and Entertainment
James Franco and Zachary Quinto in I Am Michael

Film review Michael Glatze biopic isn't about a self-hating gay man gone straight

Arts and Entertainment
A scene from the movie 'Get Hard'
tvWill Ferrell’s new film Get Hard receives its first reviews
Arts and Entertainment
Left to right: David Cameron (Mark Dexter), Nick Clegg (Bertie Carvel) and Gordon Brown (Ian Grieve)
tvReview: Ian Grieve gets another chance to play Gordon Brown... this is the kinder version
Arts and Entertainment
Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman in the first look picture from next year's Sherlock special

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Because it wouldn’t be Glastonbury without people kicking off about the headline acts, a petition has already been launched to stop Kanye West performing on the Saturday night

music
Arts and Entertainment
Molly Risker, Helen Monks, Caden-Ellis Wall, Rebekah Staton, Erin Freeman, Philip Jackson and Alexa Davies in ‘Raised by Wolves’

TV review
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    War with Isis: Iraq declares victory in the battle for Tikrit - but militants make make ominous advances in neighbouring Syria's capital

    War with Isis

    Iraq declares victory in the battle for Tikrit - but militants make make ominous advances in neighbouring Syria
    Scientists develop mechanical spring-loaded leg brace to improve walking

    A spring in your step?

    Scientists develop mechanical leg brace to help take a load off
    Peter Ackroyd on Alfred Hitchcock: How London shaped the director's art and obsessions

    Peter Ackroyd on Alfred Hitchcock

    Ackroyd has devoted his literary career to chronicling the capital and its characters. He tells John Walsh why he chose the master of suspense as his latest subject
    Ryan Reynolds interview: The actor is branching out with Nazi art-theft drama Woman in Gold

    Ryan Reynolds branches out in Woman in Gold

    For every box-office smash in Ryan Reynolds' Hollywood career, there's always been a misconceived let-down. It's time for a rethink and a reboot, the actor tells James Mottram
    Why Robin Williams safeguarded himself against a morbid trend in advertising

    Stars safeguard against morbid advertising

    As film-makers and advertisers make increasing posthumous use of celebrities' images, some stars are finding new ways of ensuring that they rest in peace
    The UK horticulture industry is facing a skills crisis - but Great Dixter aims to change all that

    UK horticulture industry facing skills crisis

    Great Dixter manor house in East Sussex is encouraging people to work in the industry by offering three scholarships a year to students, as well as generous placements
    Hack Circus aims to turn the rule-abiding approach of TED talks on its head

    Hack Circus: Technology, art and learning

    Hack Circus aims to turn the rule-abiding approach of TED talks on its head. Rhodri Marsden meets mistress of ceremonies Leila Johnston
    Sevenoaks is split over much-delayed decision on controversial grammar school annexe

    Sevenoaks split over grammar school annexe

    If Weald of Kent Grammar School is given the go-ahead for an annexe in leafy Sevenoaks, it will be the first selective state school to open in 50 years
    10 best compact cameras

    A look through the lens: 10 best compact cameras

    If your smartphone won’t quite cut it, it’s time to invest in a new portable gadget
    Paul Scholes column: Ross Barkley played well against Italy but he must build on that. His time to step up and seize that England No 10 shirt is now

    Paul Scholes column

    Ross Barkley played well against Italy but he must build on that. His time to step up and seize that England No 10 shirt is now
    Why Michael Carrick is still proving an enigma for England

    Why Carrick is still proving an enigma for England

    Manchester United's talented midfielder has played international football for almost 14 years yet, frustratingly, has won only 32 caps, says Sam Wallace
    Tracey Neville: The netball coach who is just as busy as her brothers, Gary and Phil

    Tracey Neville is just as busy as her brothers, Gary and Phil

    The former player on how she is finding time to coach both Manchester Thunder in the Superleague and England in this year's World Cup
    General Election 2015: The masterminds behind the scenes

    The masterminds behind the election

    How do you get your party leader to embrace a message and then stick to it? By employing these people
    Machine Gun America: The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons

    Machine Gun America

    The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons
    The ethics of pet food: Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?

    The ethics of pet food

    Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?