The Barn Theatre in Cirencester have announced the exciting line-up for the return of their summer theatre festival, BarnFest, which will run from 10 to 29 August. Read about our experiences at BarnFest 2020 then read on to hear all about what’s in store for 2021.
The festival returns to The Pavillion, which is located next to the theatre within the grounds of the newly opened hotel Ingleside House and will also include the previously announced Barn at Notgrove in association with Scoot Theatre which features Scoot’s family friendly, actor-musician productions of A Midsummer Night’s Dream and The Comedy of Errors. The former already has the Family Stage seal of approval, after we caught it at last year’s Barnfest, and we’re due to see The Comedy of Errors early in August so keep an eye out for our review….
The festival will open with improvisational comedy troupe Spontaneous Players with their entirely improvised comedy shows Spontaneous Potter Kidz: The Unofficial Improvised Parody at 3pm and Spontaneous Sherlock at 8pm from 10 to 12 August. The troupe have previously performed at the Barn Theatre as part of the theatre’s Fringe at the Barn seasons.
To coincide with 50 years of Mr Benn on screen Storystock are bringing the magic of David McKee’s beloved character to the next generation of children with their productions of Mr Benn’s Big Game and Mr Benn and the Dragon, which will have daytime performances from 13 to 15 August with evening performances of the musical theatre cabaret The Greatest Showtunes which sees West End stars Adam Bayjou (Les Misérables, Assassins) and Lucy O’Byrne (The Voice UK, Les Misérables) sing through songs from the world’s best loved musicals, including the biggest hits from Les Misérables, Evita and The Sound of Music.
Following his smash-hit run at last year’s festival, Giffords Circus favourite Tweedy the Clown will return with his solo show Tweedy: Al Fresco! on 17 August for 12pm and 3pm performances.
The Runaround Kids, billed as “the UK’s finest vintage band”, will perform at 8pm from 17 to 18 August with Britain’s Got Talent winner and West End star Jai McDowall performing his solo show An Evening with Jai McDowall at 8pm from 19 to 21 August.
The Future of Musical Theatre, a celebration of upcoming musical theatre talents in Gloucestershire, will be performed on 22 August at 8pm. The concert, which began life as an online fundraiser, was created by Barn Theatre volunteer and Barn Academy student Nathan Seatter-Messer as a way to support his local theatre. Check out our review of the online concert here.
Superhero Academy: Environmental Adventure will perform daytime performances at 3pm from 24 to 26 August with evening performances of Tom Brace: Embrace the Impossible!, magician Tom Brace’s new show which features his signature unique blend of comedy and magic. Tom Brace has previously performed at the Barn Theatre as part of the theatre’s Fringe at the Barn seasons as well as being magic consultant on the theatre’s 2019 production of Alan Pollock’s adaptation of A Christmas Carol.
Finally, David Ribi from Channel 5’s Milkshake! brings all the family-fun to BarnFest with The Big Movie Magic Sing-A-Long at 3pm on 29 August.
Tickets for performances at the Pavillion are priced at £15 for adults and £8.50 for under 16, plus booking fee. Tickets for the Barn at Notgrove productions are priced at £12 for adults and £8 for children (with under 5s going free) and family tickets available for £35, plus booking fee. Tickets are now on sale at barntheatre.org.uk by calling the theatre’s box office at 01285 648255.