Open air theatre at Martineau Gardens

Touring company brings Shakespeare and childrens’ classic to woodland surroundings.

Smartest Giant Poster

All the world’s a stage… and in this case, the decks of a pirate shipwreck play area at community garden Martineau Gardens, will be transformed into a stage for a special outdoor theatre production of As You Like It. The Shakespearean comedy will be performed on Friday 5th August, 6.30pm by tourinbg company Folksy Theatre.

Within the beautiful, leafy grounds of Martineau Gardens, from picnic rugs and folding chairs, the audience will be invited to watch as Rosalind is banished from the court and escapes into the forest disguised as a boy, Ganymede. When she meets the man she loves in the forest, she devises an elaborate scheme to find out the verity of his supposed passion for her, through the witty and mischievous façade of Ganymede. This wonderful Shakespearian romantic comedy about life, love, betrayal, faith and death, is filled with Folksy’s touch of live music, bold characters, audience interaction and plenty of laughs.

Tom Hardwicke, Director at Folksy Theatre said: “Our production is set in a timeless bohemian forest of Arden. It is filled with fun and live music and we think it is the perfect tribute to mark the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death.”

Then on Wednesday 10th August Folksy Theatre will bring its touring production of The Smartest Giant In Town, to Martineau Gardens.

The open-air family musical production is adapted from the book by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler. The audience will be invited to watch the antics of George the scruffiest giant in town. One day, when he sees a shop stocking giant-size clothes, he decides it’s time to update his image. With smart clothes, George is a new man. However, as he journeys home, he meets various animals who desperately need his help. George’s kind heart and generosity take him on an adventure where he discovers that it’s not how you look that’s important but how you feel. Folksy’s musical adaptation of this wonderful book will be filled with puppetry, colourful characters and songs that will have everyone clapping and singing along.

Lee Hardwicke, irector at Folksy Theatre, said, “This is a really fun production with great characters and songs. The use of music and puppetry, mixed with the open-air setting, means there’s something for everyone. It’s an ideal family show!”

Caroline Hutton, Director of Martineau Gardens said:“We’re delighted to welcome Folksy Theatre back for two evenings of live theatre – a marquee will be up to protect the audience from rain or shine.”

Visitors are welcome to bring picnics, blankets and folding chairs. The Gardens, though only two miles from Birmingham city centre are a green oasis that is teeming with wildlife. There’s plenty to enjoy, including woodland, glass houses, formal gardens, orchard, vegetable plots, wildflower meadow, a nature trail, a bird hide and more.

Advance admission price for either show is family ticket £38, adult £13.50 and children £8. Tickets are also available on the gate, subject to availability. Located five minutes from the MAC and opposite the Priory Hospital, there are also parking spaces available on site or the Gardens are served by buses 1, 45, 47, 61, 63, or X64. More details are available by calling 0121 440 7430 or logging onto