ONE of Shakespeare’s best-loved comedies will come alive this summer in the stunning setting of Beaulieu Abbey Cloister, with an open-air production of Twelfth Night on Wednesday July 11, Thursday 12 and Friday 13.

A great way to get that summer festival feel, the play will be performed by the Castle Theatre Company from the University of Durham, which offers some of the best student drama in the UK and this year celebrates its 40th Summer Shakespeare Tour of castles and manor houses across the country.

The classic tale of love and confusion will offer a great summer’s evening of entertainment.

The story follows the adventures of twins Viola and Sebastian, who are separated after a shipwreck.

Disguising herself as a young boy Viola becomes a messenger between the local duke Orsino and the wealthy heiress he loves, Olivia.

As the two nobles begin to fall in love with this mysterious ‘boy’, the other members of Olivia’s household compete for her hand in marriage (and her fortune). Enter Sebastian, Viola’s long lost identical twin, and chaos quickly ensues…

The abbey grounds open at 6pm for picnics, while performances of Shakespeare at Beaulieu begin at 7pm.

Performances will move inside the Abbey Domus if it rains.

For tickets or more information see:, email or call 01590 612888.

Montagu ancestor Henry Wriothesley, the 3rd Earl of Southampton, was the only acknowledged patron of Shakespeare and dedicated two of his poems to the Earl – Venus & Adonis and The Rape of Lucrece.