On Tuesday last week, my husband and I were very kindly invited to Hutton-in-the-Forest by Armstrong Watson to see a performance of The Taming of the Shrew by Illyria Theatre. Armstrong Watson and Bond Dickinson had kindly sponsored the Illyria Theatre company for the performance and had a delightful evening planned for their guests. It was a great excuse to get all dressed up on a Tuesday evening – not-to-mention one of the hottest days of the Summer so far!
We arrived at Hutton-in-the-Forest and I was in awe of the entire place. The gardens were utterly beautiful, the scent of flowers just wafting around as we walked by. The property is hundreds of years old and stands proudly, almost castle-like! It’s quite like something from a fairytale, and yet is only a short drive away from my front door (that looks nothing like a castle… sob).
We were guided into what I can only describe as the Secret Garden, aka the walled garden of Hutton-in-the-Forest, where we were given a glass of champagne and introduced to some other lovely people. A and I were guests of a friend of ours, although A did actually know a couple of other guests through work. I really enjoyed having a nice chat with many lovely people whilst being plied with champagne and delicious canapés.
The weather literally couldn’t have been better for the evening that was planned; champagne and canapés, followed by dinner and drinks outside on the lawns, topped off with a performance of a Shakespeare classic on an outdoor stage. The dinner was lovely, consisting of meats and fish with potatoes and salads, followed by a salted caramel and chocolate tart with cream or local cheeses with biscuits. Mmmm…
The ladies and gents performing as Illyria Theatre did a really good job of portraying the various characters within the play. I did find it a little confusing at first, but I soon managed to catch up! Who’d have thought that the Shakespearian language was quite difficult to follow!? They did a really good job of conveying the humour and often had the crowd in stitches.
The play did last quite a long time and such that we didn’t actually leave the grounds of Hutton-in-the-Forest until around 10:30pm – on a school night too! It was a really good evening though and everyone seemed to enjoy it. I definitely did! I would have liked to take some more photographs for this post, although it wasn’t exactly the circumstances for it… I definitely want to visit Hutton-in-the-Forest again though as the whole property was out of this world. And so, if theatre is your thing like it is mine, you may want to check out Illyria Theatre on their UK tour this Summer.
Have you ever seen a Shakespeare play? Or experienced outdoor theatre?