Date night: histrionics, hilarity and heritage

Sandie Taylor shares her date night outdoor theatre experience.

We were looking for something different for our regular date night, as we’d done the usual meal out, theatre, cinema... you know the thing. So, when we saw that Wollaton Hall had a summer programme of outdoor theatre, something we’d not done before, we knew we should give it a go...

The programme is varied with something for everyone, and we settled for Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest, performed by The Pantaloons, which, according to their website, offered "frantically funny physical theatre suitable for all ages, with a hilarious contemporary twist."

Following their advice, we packed the car up with deckchairs, picnic and, as we’d picked just about the only rainy day this summer so far, the umbrella and raincoats came too.

We really didn’t know what to expect when we arrived so we followed the similarly attired crowds up to the stunning rear garden of Wollaton Hall and found our preferred viewing spot of the stage. Nestled among beautiful mature trees, we set up our camp for the next few hours and prepared to be entertained and, boy, they didn’t disappoint!

There really was something lovely about being cosied up under a blanket, sharing a picnic, while being transported to a bygone age by a very talented quartet of actors who wove you into their world with just the right amount of humour, ad-libbing and audience participation.

As the sun set, bathing the Hall in a golden glow, we agreed that there really was no better way to spend date night than laughing together with a glass of fizz and some fancy nibbles (although a cheese sandwich and a beer would have gone down equally well) and enjoying a modern day take of this Oscar Wilde classic.

Would we do it again? Most definitely!

Fancy your own date with a difference?

Umbrellas at the ready...

They didn't disappoint!

Sun setting on a great date!