Family fun in the great outdoors this summer at Markeaton Park

editorial image

The popular Outdoor Theatre and Cinema season will return to Markeaton Park Craft Village in Derby this June, July and August.

Derby LIVE and Derby Parks will be bringing audiences thrilling shows from Oddsocks Productions, Babbling Vagabonds and Squashbox Theatre, as well as showings of classic films, and all in the beautiful surroundings of Markeaton Park.

The season will kick off with outdoor theatre favourites Oddsocks Productions with a double-bill of Shakespeare with a twist. Oddsocks’ The Tempest will make its Derby debut from June 14-16, followed a few weeks later from July 24-26 by the return of last year’s popular production of Romeo And Juliet.

This year, Oddsocks will be kicking off the season with their new adaptation of The Tempest. Oddsocks are bringing Shakespeare’s tale of illusion and revenge vividly to life in this musical sci-fi adaptation.

Audiences will experience The Tempest like never before as they’re transported far off to a distant universe, where they will find Prospero, an ageing astronaut, his fearless daughter Miranda and a host of madcap aliens.

Oddsocks will once again be lighting up Markeaton Park with their ‘Mods and Rockers’ take on Shakespeare’s Romeo And Juliet. Oddsocks will be retelling the trials and tribulations of two star-crossed lovers to a soundtrack of foot-tapping and well-loved anthems. Audiences can expect to be laughing throughout this twist on Shakespeare’s classic tragedy. Tickets for both Oddsocks shows are availablefor £18, and £15 for under 16s. Book before June 1 for £3 off.

After five hugely popular Christmas shows at the Guildhall Theatre, Babbling Vagabonds are back with an outdoor theatrical experience with A Wild Walk: The Golden Thief of Markeaton Park.

Audiences can pit their wits against riddlers, puzzle makers and a tricksy wolf on the outdoor theatrical walk. This interactive experience, taking about an hour to complete, is ideal for families with young children. Audiences can join the walk from July 27-31 for just £5 in advance or £8 on the day, under 3s go free but will require a ticket.

The big screen makes its return to Markeaton Park Craft Village this August with a truly unique cinematic experience. The outdoor cinema will this year be showing the 80s favourite Dirty Dancing on Friday 3 August followed by the cult classic The Rocky Horror Picture Show on Saturday, August 4.

Derby LIVE is inviting audiences to grab their friends, some popcorn and have the time of their lives as they relive all their favourite moments of Dirty Dancing. Baby (Jennifer Grey) is vacationing with her affluent family when the resort’s dance instructor, Johnny (Patrick Swayze), enlists Baby as his new partner, and the two fall in love. Baby’s father forbids her from seeing Johnny, but she’s determined to help him perform the last big dance of the summer. The outdoor cinema experience is made complete by indulging in a Dirty Daiquiri cocktail from The Orangery for £4.95 Tickets to see the big lift on the big screen are available for £13, book before 30 June to save £2 a ticket.

Fans of the timewarp can experience the weird and wonderful of The Rocky Horror Picture Show in a new way this August. In this cult classic, sweethearts Brad (Barry Bostwick) and Janet (Susan Sarandon), stuck with a flat tire during a storm, discover the eerie mansion of Dr. Frank-N-Furter (Tim Curry), a transvestite scientist. As their innocence is lost, Brad and Janet meet a houseful of wild characters. Viewers can get immersed in the Rocky Horror experience with a special Rocky Margarita cocktail from The Orangery for just £4.95. The cult classic will be showing on Saturday 4 August and tickets are available for £13, book before June 30 to save £2 a ticket.

Squashbox Theatre will be bringing a large dose of theatre to the season with their two shows, Stones and Bones, and Curious Creatures. These educational and fun shows, appropriate for children aged five-plus will be a treat for the whole family.

From August 9-11, Squashbox will be showing Stones & Bones, an educational show all about archaeology and fossils, introducing children to their stone-age ancestors, showing them a volcano erupting before their eyes and even giving them a glimpse of a dinosaur or two. Squashbox promise thrills and spills galore, with lots of laughs, plenty of puppets, songs, slapstick, tall tales and crazy characters. This is not one for families to miss, with tickets just £9.

Squashbox will also be performing Curious Creatures from August 9-11, a show about curious creatures of all shapes and sizes. From performing fleas, skateboarding snails and gymnastic gerbils, this show has them all! With all of these curious creatures comes puppets, comedy, slapstick and live music, as well as loads of amazing natural history facts. Tickets for this show are available for £9, buy tickets for both Stones & Bones and Curious Creatures for £16.

To complete the Outdoor Theatre and Cinema experience The Orangery are offering several food packages at each of these events. The pizza platter, including a 11” margarita or pepperoni pizza, garlic bread and chunky chips is available during all shows for £10.50. Also on offer for £10.50 is The Orangery’s Outdoor Tea, including tea or coffee, a meat or vegetarian sandwich selection and 2 slices of cake.

Tickets for the outdoor theatre and cinema season can be purchased through the Sales and Information Centre on 01332 255800, online at or in person at the Sales and Information Centre on the Market Place, Derby, DE1 3AH.

Photo by Graham Lucas Commons