Watford Palace Theatre collaborates on new outdoor theatre

Last Updated on 17 May 2021 by Showcall Editorial Team

Harlequin Theatricals is working with Watford Palace Theatre to create The Stage in the Park for a festival of theatre, comedy and music this summer

Watford outdoor theatre
Left to right: Brigid Larmour, Chris Wheeler, Dan Clarkson and Watford Palace Theatre associate director James Williams

Watford Palace Theatre has teamed up with local theatre-makers and producers to create a new outdoor venue for theatre, comedy and live music.

The 500-seater Stage in the Park is being built in Cassiobury Park, north-west of the town centre, for a programme from 23 July to 8 August, put together with Dan Clarkson and Chris Wheeler’s Harlequin Theatricals.

The outdoor venue is aiming for a “festival vibe”, offering a fully licenced bar, food and stalls from local suppliers and creative businesses.

It coincides with the theatre building itself reopening from 22 May with a programme including digital, interactive and live events and experiences.

Clarkson, the Watford-based comedy actor known for Potted Potter and CBBC, said: “It is with great excitement that we are able to bring The Stage in the Park to Cassiobury this summer. Sharing this brand-new outdoor experience with the community means so much to us.

“I am delighted to be collaborating with both Watford Borough Council and the Watford Palace Theatre, presenting a dynamic season of diverse cultural entertainment from popular children’s shows to top comedy performances, from electrifying music to engaging community theatre, from emerging local artists to well-known names.

“This is a chance for us all to safely come back together and enjoy the arts like never before right here on The Stage in the Park.”

Initially, Watford Palace Theatre is offering a series of socially distanced film screenings of hit shows such as Kinky Boots, 42nd Street and Matthew Bourne’s Romeo and Juliet.

It will also continue to offer digital theatre including The Secret Garden Experience Wizard Presents and Romeo and Juliet by Creation Theatre.

Watford Palace Theatre’s artistic director, Brigid Larmour, said: “We’re very happy to be back –outdoors, indoors and online – doing what we love best, with and for the community around us. We’re proud to be supporting local freelance and independent artists in our Homegrown programme and thrilled to be working with our friends Chris and Dan, local independent producers, on The Stage in the Park, in the stunning surroundings of Cassiobury. Collaboration is in our DNA.”


About Mark Ludmon 318 Articles
Mark Ludmon has been a journalist for over 20 years, specialising in theatre, hospitality and drinks after starting in regional daily newspapers. He has an MA in early modern literature and history, focusing on Elizabethan and Jacobean drama, and a theatre studies MA from Royal Central School of Speech & Drama. He is a former panellist for the Olivier Awards. He tweets at @MarkLudmon.