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Come and enjoy some really fabulous theatre productions this summer at Hartland Abbey.  Set against the backdrop of this historic house, so deeply steeped in the history of North Devon, this year’s productions promise to keep theatregoers of all ages and tastes well rewarded with some fantastic productions from different travelling theatre companies. It is a perfect reason to get together with family and friends, bring rugs or picnic chairs and enjoy a night under the stars!

Many people make a longer day out visiting the fascinating house with its beautiful gardens and a leisurely lunch or tea in the Old Kitchens Tea Rooms before the performance begins. We will have a our usual Pimms and Wine bar with local cider, beer and soft drinks too. This year we are delighted to announce that Amy Lythgoe-Jones, who provides the delicious refreshments to walkers from her shack at Hartland Point during the summer season, will be doing a proper barbecue with local meat (and veggie) at every performance so there is no need to bring a picnic unless you would like to.


Date Company Production Ticket Price
Sun 24 June 7pm Hotbuckle  ‘Wuthering Heights’ by Emily Bronte £13/10
  Emily Jane Brontë’s only novel is widely considered one of the greatest works of fiction ever written.

Wuthering Heights is a wild, passionate story of the intense and almost demonic love between Catherine Earnshaw and Heathcliff, a foundling adopted by Catherine’s father. After Mr Earnshaw’s death, Heathcliff is bullied and humiliated by Catherine’s brother Hindley and wrongly believing that his love for Catherine is not reciprocated, leaves Wuthering Heights, only to return years later to exact a terrible revenge for his former miseries.

With live music, multiple characterisation, humour and inventiveness this story is as enjoyably engaging as should be in the reliable hands of Hotbuckle

Wed 8 August 7pm Illyria ‘The Pirates of Penzance’ by Gilbert and Sullivan £15/11
   Frederick, apprenticed to the Pirates since a child, reaches the age of 21 and announces to the Pirate King that it is his duty leave them, to seek his fortune in a more wholesome way than piracy. He reaches land and finds Major Stanley’s beautiful daughters, falling in love with Mabel the most beautiful of them. But then he learns that he was born on 29th February, and that he is contracted to the Pirate King until his 21st BIRTHDAY, not his 21st year… With hilarious melodrama, sharp satire and glittering wit, “The Pirates of Penzance” is as fresh as if it had been written today. It is packed-full of memorable songs such as “To be a Pirate King!”; “Modern Major General” and “A Policeman’s Lot is Not a Happy One”.
Fri 10 August 5pm Illyria ‘Dr.Dolittle’ by Hugh Lofting (5yrs+) plus Drama Workshop 6 – 11 yrs (3-4.30pm) £5 £13/10


    Dr John Dolittle of Puddleby-on-the-Marsh starts out as a human doctor.  But once he is taught by his wise old parrot Polynesia how to talk to animals he becomes the most celebrated veterinary doctor in England.  Word of his skills spreads and animals across the world send messages asking for his help.  So he buys a leaky old ship and, together with his trusty pet-crew of Jip the dog, Chee-Chee the monkey, Dab-Dab the Duck and permanently hungry Gub-Gub the pig, sets forth on a mission to heal illness, right wrongs and gain a greater understanding of the animal kingdom. A funny, much-loved and exciting adventure, with a strong message about responsibility towards animals and the environment, this show is created by the same Illyria team who brought you an entire menagerie of animal puppets in DANNY THE CHAMPION OF THE WORLD and a life-size T-Rex in THE LOST WORLD. The show is suitable for cheeky monkeys aged 5+  
Wed 15 August 5pm Heartbreak Productions ‘The Midnight Gang’ by David Walliams plus Drama Workshop 6 – 11 yrs (3-4.30pm) £5


    A David Walliams Bestseller

Drum roll, please… Heartbreak invites you to join us for the grand opening of The Lord Funt Hospital Playground, a spectacular new play area for the convalescent child.

Tom and his friends will be there, too, but you might know them best as The Midnight Gang. When everyone else is sweetly sleeping, they gather in the middle of the night in the name of magic, mischief, and memory making. Join Heartbreak and the gang on this crucial mission to overcome our greatest fears and uncover the magic ingredient to a fantastic friendship.

Bring your chairs, blankets, picnics, (perhaps a brolly) and be prepared to be daring at this outdoor adaptation of David Walliams’ bestseller. Who knows where the night may lead?

(+ drama workshop    6-11yrs    3pm – 4.30pm  £5  Book online or via 01805 624624)


Thurs 23 Aug 7.30pm Illyria ‘The Hound of the Baskervilles’ by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle  £13/10
    Who killed Sir Charles Baskerville? Can anyone prevent the same fate befalling the young Sir Henry Baskerville? Is a monstrous hound really roaming Dartmoor? Why is someone systematically stealing Sir Henry’s shoes? And how does a ghostly hound manage to leave vast paw-prints and other unwelcome evidence of its existence? The original and greatest literary detective of them all, Sherlock Holmes, and his assistant Doctor Watson, tackle the most baffling case of their careers in this faithful, cheeky but chilling adaptation…

Running time 120 minutes
Mon 27 Aug 5pm The Festival Players  ‘The Winter’s Tale’ by William Shakespeare  £13/10
  The Festival Players Theatre Company is a professional theatre company delivering the best in open-air Shakespeare, committed to presenting the very best in touring theatre. Written by Shakespeare in his later years, The Winter’s Tale is an intriguing mix of drama and comedy.Sparked by an obsessive envy of a perceived relationship between his Queen and his oldest friend, Leontes, King of Sicilia, sets in motion a train of events which affect two kingdoms and two generations; there is jealousy and joy, revenge and romance, loss and discovery, remorse and revelry, and an amazing revelation.

Tremendous entertainment for a Summer evening!

Grounds open free to those attending performances 1 hour before start of 5pm shows, 2 hours before 7pm shows.

Bring rugs/low backed seating/picnics. Refreshments. Bar. Barbecue, Ice creams. Cream teas before 5pm shows.


Please contact the Plough booking office direct on 01805 624624 or online via:

You can always join our Facebook and Twitter feeds for up to date information and special offers.

“Plough Community Theatre created a surreal comedic air that gave a sense of a rural community in an isolated grip of madness….we became part of this insanity and had a jolly good laugh” Tony Glynn North Devon Journal (On ‘Lark Rise’ 2013).

Hartland Abbey is off the A39 between Bideford and Bude. Take B3248 through Hartland village towards Hartland Quay.