Alfresco Arts

Fancy a bit of summer breeze with your culture fix? Check out these outdoor arts events

Movies on the Meadows

This August Bank Holiday, slip away to Grantchester at dusk to enjoy Movies on the Meadows. A prelude to the Cambridge Film Festival, returning in October, the event showcases movies in an open-air setting on the banks of the River Cam. Guests are encouraged to bring picnics while they’re treated to the magic of the silver screen, creating a magical atmosphere. From 24 to 27 August, films include The Greatest Showman, Avengers: Infinity War, Ready Player One and Isle of Dogs. There are also family gems like Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle and Paddington 2. Tickets are £16 for adults, £6 per child.

Jazz & Brass in the Parks

Kick back with a picnic in our city’s green spaces enjoying a soundtrack of live music at the Jazz & Brass in the Parks series of concerts, which continues into August. Up this month are CSD Brass, who’ll be gracing Cherry Hinton Hall with their sounds on the 12th, followed by ACE Jazz Trio on the 19th at Jesus Green. Both performances run 3pm to 5pm and are free to attend.

Enchanted Cinema

This vintage-inspired pop-up cinema has had the whole city enraptured with its atmospheric outdoor screenings this summer – and the fun continues into August. This month, catch the double Oscar-winning The Great Gatsby (3 August) and musical mega-hit La La Land (4 August) in the walled garden of the Gonville Hotel. There’s a sumptuous Baz Luhrmann duo over at Anstey Hall, when Moulin Rouge and Romeo and Juliet play on 4 and 5 August respectively, followed by The Greatest Showman the next evening. Then it’s back over to the Gonville for Blade Runner on the 17th and Thor: Ragnarok on the 18th. Expect deckchairs, fresh popcorn, drinks and other tasty treats. Tickets are £14.

As You Like It at Wimpole

Clowns, lovers, runaways and rebels collide in Shakespeare’s As You Like It, coming to the gardens of the Wimpole Estate on 10 August. One the Bard’s best-loved comedies, this production by the critically acclaimed Pantaloons theatre company promises a hilarious retelling of the goings-on in the Forest of Arden: expect cross-dressing, mistaken identities and pastoral romance aplenty. Wimpole’s restaurant will be open until the end of the interval for hot and cold drinks, or you can bring along your own refreshments. Adult tickets are £16 (£10 for children).

Cambridge Shakespeare Festival

Sinking into a velvet lawn, glass of wine in hand, might well be the perfect way to enjoy theatre – which would explain the enduring popularity of the Cambridge Shakespeare Festival, which is still going strong after more than 30 years. The event, which runs throughout July and August each year, makes the gorgeous gardens of Cambridge University’s colleges a stage, serving up a programme of eight plays in total, all performed in splendid Elizabethan costume. This month heralds the arrival of the second part of the line-up, and will see the famous gardens of King’s College transformed into the mythical Illyria for Twelfth Night, running 30 July to 25 August. Wild mishaps abound in The Comedy of Errors, 1 to 18 August at St John’s College Garden, while Pericles, with all its stormy, startling drama, descends on Robinson College 20 July until 25 August. Finally, in the breathtakingly beautiful gardens of Trinity College, observe Macbeth’s descent into the abyss from 30 July to 18 August. Tickets to all performances are £17 for adults and £13 for concessions.

Chapterhouse Theatre at Audley End

The manicured gardens at Audley End House play host to a duo of outdoor productions this August, both from Chapterhouse Theatre Company. On the first of the month – a play befitting the splendidly English setting – comes Sense and Sensibility, Jane Austen’s lively tale of romance versus rationality in Regency society. Then, take a magical trip down the rabbit hole with Alice in Wonderland, which will be presented in beautiful Victorian costume with song, dance and original music – join the fun on the 17th. Tickets are £16 adults and £10 children.