Everyman Theatre Company’s longstanding summer theatre extravaganza is back with a wonderfully diverse line up offering something for everyone at accessible pricing to reflect the cost of living crisis; from contemporary Shakespeare adaptations, to West end hit plays, a DreamWorks family musical to live music and comedy from special guests. 

Showcasing the acclaimed talents and united passion of Everyman Theatre Company’s semi-professional performers, led by industry renowned directors, the Cardiff Open Air Theatre Festival is a celebration of community, live performing arts and the magic and excitement of open air theatre in a beautiful setting. Better yet, given Wales’s often unpredictable summer weather, the Festival show goes on come rain or shine, thanks to undercover audience seating!

Commenting on the programme for 2024, Festival Chairman, Paul Williams told us…. 

“We are thrilled to launch our 2024 line up which has been carefully curated to appeal to as wide a range of tastes as possible, so that everyone can have the chance to experience the unique magic of Cardiff Open Air Theatre Festival.

Our diverse programme of plays, family musicals, comedy, live music and even gardening Q&A offers something for everyone. And thanks to our incredibly dedicated and generous team of volunteers who help stage this unique festival each year, we are offering tickets at very accessible price points to ensure that during this cost of living crisis, price is not a barrier to entry – we want our Festival to be as inclusive as possible, enabling people regardless of background to experience the intimate and memorable joy of live, open air theatre.”

In addition to the ticketed performances, audiences can relax and soak up the atmosphere in the courtyard bar before and after each show, looking out across the iconic Castle Grounds.

Cabinet Member for Culture, Parks and Events, Cllr Jennifer Burke added….

 “Cardiff Open Air Festival is a highlight of each summer in the Welsh capital – a great chance for families and friends of all ages to immerse themselves in the scenic Sophia Gardens while enjoying live open air theatre, music and comedy – a real treat for people to experience, so don’t miss out!”

Kicking off the Festival this year is a captivating modern adaption of Shakespeare’s THE TEMPEST (20th – 28th June) directed by Richard Tunley. Blurring the lines between reality and illusion, castaways navigate a reimagined tale of sorcery, revenge and forgiveness. Set against the backdrop of a plane crash on a mystical, remote island, this contemporary production blends the timeless magic of Shakespeare’s dark comedy with the gripping supernatural intrigue of sci-fi hit TV drama ‘Lost’.  

The fast, frenetic and fiendishly funny ONE MAN, TWO GUVNORS follows 4th – 13th July. Directed by Simon H West, this hit West-end show set in 1960s Brighton is a tale of disguise and deception. The chaotic but loveable Francis accidentally finds himself working for two guvnors. Now all he has to do is keep his double employment a secret, earn a few quid, win the heart of Dolly and – most importantly of all – find some lunch. A perfect escape for anxious times!

Timeless and much loved smash hit Broadway musical GUYS & DOLLS rolls its dice 18th – 27th July. Directed by Gregory Ashton, prepare for colourful New York street scenes to be injected into the Welsh open air! This feel-good sensation is famed for its wit, heart and unforgettable toe-tapping score.

The award-winning Everyman Youth Theatre (Winners of National Theatre Connections) return to perform Shakespeare’s classic tale of two star crossed lovers and their tragic demise. Directed by Sarah Bawler, ROMEO & JULIET (7th & 21st July) questions which is greater – Love for your family?  Or love, so intense, so passionate, so violent that you risk losing everyone you hold dear?

Timed perfectly to celebrate the start of the kids’ summer holidays, 20th– 27th July, everyone’s favourite ogre is back! SHREK, The Musical Jr. is a treat to delight the whole family. Directed and choreographed by Emma-Jayne Parker and based on the Oscar-winning smash hit film and outrageous Broadway show, this hilarious stage spectacle is not to be missed.

In addition to Everyman Theatre’s productions, Cardiff Open Air Theatre Festival is delighted to be welcoming special guest performances for added comedy, live music and even gardening know how.  

On 23rd June the Festival welcomes multi award winning all-singing, all-dancing ABBA tribute band RËVIVAL™. The live music continues with the UK’s number one tribute act FRANKIE’S GUYS on 29th June, bringing the unforgettable sound of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons. On 30th June AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL STAND UP IN THE PARK returns to have audiences rolling in the aisles- exciting line-up of comedy stars will be announced later this Spring. And For the first time, the Festival is delighted to welcome BBC Radio 2’s gardening guru Terry Walton in a live Q&A session on 12 July helping both experienced and first time gardeners alike. 

Tickets are priced at £25 for most shows with family musical SHREK, The Musical Jr priced at £15 or a family ticket is available for £52 admitting 4 people. For more details and to book yours, go HERE.