Magical outdoor Shakespeare performances at Hulne Abbey and Alnwick Castle

Bring a picnic and enjoy “Much Ado about Nothing” or “Macbeth” or both!

The Three Inch Fools, a national touring company acclaimed for their fast-paced and musical approach to Shakespeare, will be performing at two historic venues in Alnwick on Sunday 7th July and Tuesday 9th July,

Five actors, with all manner of musical instruments and plenty of character-swapping, will present an inventive take on two of Shakespeare’s most renowned plays as part of their national summer tour.

On Sunday 7th July, the acting troupe will be at beautiful Hulne Abbey to perform Much Ado About Nothing. This is Shakespeare’s most frequently performed comedy and is believed to have been written between 1598 and 1599 in the middle of his career. It’s a tale of love and deception, friendship and honour. Returning from the battlefield as brave soldiers, Claudio and Benedick are reunited with Hero and Beatrice. Misunderstandings, mistaken identity, and a scheming brother threatens to sabotage Claudio's attempts to woo Hero. Meanwhile, Benedick and Beatrice find themselves fighting their feelings for one another. Beautiful, ruined Hulne Abbey, set in glorious English countryside, is the perfect setting for this performance.

Macbeth, performed on Tuesday 9th July within the grounds of Alnwick Castle, is a much darker work by Shakespeare, although the Three Inch Fools will undoubtedly add their own unique, musical perspective. Macbeth, a valiant warrior, becomes consumed by greed when three witches tell of a prophecy that he will one day become King of Scotland. Urged on by his scheming wife, Macbeth takes fate into his own hands, setting in motion an ever more desperate struggle for power. The play dramatizes the deadly, damaging effects of political ambition on those who seek power for its own sake. Views of the medieval castle as the light fades will add to the atmosphere.

Over the last four years The Three Inch Fools have performed at over 100 different venues, to almost 35,000 audience members. They have built a reputation for staging innovative and vibrant productions - a fast-paced, musically driven style, using all sorts of different instruments, plenty of role swapping and many quick costume changes along the way. Over the years, they have performed in venues ranging from castles and cathedrals to bookshops and seaside piers.

“We want to show Shakespeare off to everyone,” says Co-Founder and Director James Hyde, “and excite a whole new generation of Shakespeare lovers to get to know his plays in all their vibrancy.”

Audience members are invited to arrive early to both events, and to bring a picnic to enjoy.

Much Ado About Nothing starts at Hulne Abbey on Sunday 7th July at 7pm, followed by Macbeth at Alnwick Castle on Tuesday 9th July at 7pm. Gates open at 6pm for picnics.

Buy tickets online and save! Online adult tickets are £14.00, Concessions £10 and Families £40. Under 10s are free.

Or tickets at the gate (subject to availability) are standard rate of £16, £12 and £45. For more information on tickets and to buy in advance, go to

Please note that both Alnwick Castle and Hulne Abbey are outdoor venues, so please bring something to sit on and wrap up warm!