Ellie Motta
6th June 2024

The sun is high in the sky and the warm weather is here, so what better way to spend a hazy summer’s evening in Kent than to treat yourself to an outdoor showing of cinema and theatre, all (might we say so ourselves) with some pretty special backdrops? So pack a picnic, grab your blanket and enjoy a performance under the stars...

The Historic Dockyard Chatham

25-28 September

Rechart the history of The Historic Dockyard Chatham as you enter this year’s immersive performance of Ghost Ships. A combination of explosive hip hop dance, original live music, and choral power from the community ensemble which will come together at the end of September to tell an unforgettable story. Illuminating true and untold stories of those who built and sailed the ships, this is an evening not to be missed.

Godinton House and Gardens

July – August

Set against the stunning backdrop of Godinton House’s 14th century estate, an evening of outdoor theatre awaits. In July, they’ll have an energetic and musical performance of Oscar Wilde’s comic masterpiece, The Importance of Being Earnest. If you’d rather something a little more mythical, then the re-telling of Robin Hood is the one for you, with hilarity ensuing during the telling of this beloved story. Or witness brand-new comedy, The Dressing Book, set in 18th century Tunbridge Wells, provocative, poetic and tender in its story.

Isle of Thanet

July – September

If you find yourself on the East Coast of Kent this summer (and even if you don’t, we highly recommend getting over there!), Thanet’s cinematic spectacle is one to look out for. Picture it now – warm evenings, your favourite snacks, family and friends, and some wonderful outdoors entertainment. Whether you go otherworldly with a screening of ET at the Oval Bandstand in Cliftonville or watch a theatrical retelling of Shakespeare at The Royal Albion Hotel in Broadstairs, make it a summer to remember!

Belmont House & Gardens

July and August

Throughout July and August enjoy amazing theatre at Belmont House & Gardens, where you can bring along a picnic and watch tales unfold before your eyes. On July 12th, watch as the Changeling Theatre brings a fantastic performance of Henry V, with plenty of drama and conflict to tell the story of the Hundred Years’ War. Then in August, choose between Present Laughter on 4th, with its deep and entertaining comic exploration, or the classic tale of Beauty and the Beast on 18th, told through a brand-new lens.

Canterbury Shakespeare Festival

July – August

The season has kicked off with the Canterbury Shakespeare Festival, bringing performances that have a twist; Henry V, A Kidsummer Night’s Dream, As You Like It, and a three-play extravaganza in Wars of the Roses. So, pick your play, and head over to one of the fantastic venues involved in Canterbury this summer holiday – now that’s fun for the whole family.

Powell Cotton Museum

21st August

New to 2024, Quex Gardens brings to life the magic of performance in their open-air theatre. Enter an enchanting world as you step foot into these beautiful gardens, before settling down for either a 1pm or 5pm showing and watching The Tale of Jemima Puddle-Duck unfold.

Chapel Down

Chapel Down might be known for its beautiful views and extraordinary wine, but did you know they are also hosting outdoor theatre performances? That’s right, your favourite spot for sipping and sampling is about to turn into a stage full of wonders, bringing you the likes of The Wizard of Oz, The Railway Children, and Jeeves and Wooster. Make sure to pick up some snacks from their horse box wine bar for the cherry on top!

Walmer Castle and Gardens

July - August

What better setting could you think of when watching a theatre performance? Walmer Castle and Gardens are hosting many different theatre performances throughout July and August from Treasure Island to Henry V, Beauty and Beast and so much more. With a beautiful view of the Castle whilst enjoying live performances, your Insta feed will thank you!

Rochester Castle

On their grand tour of the country, Changeling Theatre will be making a stop off at the iconic Rochester Castle. Expect excitement, sadness and laughter, sending you on an emotional ride on this Shakespeare performance of Henry V. Book in today for your chance to revisit history before these historic walls.

(c) Jonas Emmetts Garden

Emmetts Garden

June and August

Head along to National Trust’s Emmetts Garden this summer, where you can delight in some fantastic outdoor theatre while basking in the Kent countryside. The Lord Chamberlain’s Men arrive in mid-June to give a performance of Shakespeare’s Hamlet, while August sees shows of Five Children & It, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and Peter Pan. With such an array of choices, everyone in the party will have something to enjoy!

Scotney Castle


We all know and love Scotney Castle for its picture perfect moments, so why not add to the magic of this West Kent National Trust site and book in an evening of outdoor theatre? A summer holiday retreat comes from The Tale of Jemima Puddleduck, while Noel Coward’s classic Present Laughter is sure to tickle a funny bone, and a look back in time is sure to be found in the production of Shakespeare’s Henry V.

Folkestone Harbour Arm

July – September

The much-loved outdoor cinema screenings at the Folkestone Harbour Arm are back once again with a lineup to amaze. Grab your pals and pick which one tickles your fancy, with Dirty Dancing, Top Gun, Barbie, and plenty more on the roster. Completely free to attend, make sure you arrive early to the Harbour Screen and nab a seat, before treating yourself to some food and drink from one of the many wonderful suppliers along the arm.

Curzon Open Air Cinema

At Curzon’s Riverside spot in Canterbury, you can sit back and relax as you catch a screening in their open-air cinema. Those summer evenings have just got better, with the promise of some fantastic showings coming to the city. Keep an eye out on their page for up-to-date info, ready to book in that perfect night of film-fun!

Getting around

Take the stress away from those days outdoors as you sit back with Southeastern, who’re ready and waiting with your journey planned for you. Using their app, you can get from spot to spot at the click of a button, saving you on the pennies and the time. So, where will your next day out take you?