New amphitheater brings Killing Eve and Game of Thrones stars to the Cotswolds

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The Cotswolds will have a new venue to enjoy live music, theater and comedy this summer.

Berybank Park Amphitheater in Oddington just outside Stow will open for a new performing arts season in June.

The 500-seat venue was created in memory of Janet Cockell, a local woman with a passion for storytelling, the performing arts and the Cotswolds.

Janet’s daughter, Judy Reaves, a former West End theater designer, runs the creative program with her husband, David Hamblett.

She said: “It really is incredibly exciting, especially after the two years we’ve all had with the pandemic.

“It’s very much a family project, local, with a bit of outside help along the way, and we hope that spirit rubs off on the public.”

The amphitheater has been carved into the ground and offers views over the valley of Evenlode

Ms Greaves added: ‘I don’t want it to look like a spaceship has landed in the Cotswolds.

“It will be a community place, a place for everyone.

“It’s so beautiful that people can gather outside again and it’s the most beautiful and breathtaking place.

“Hopefully it offers something different from other venues in the area and I think we have something for everyone.”

The project was the vision of Ms Reaves’ father, Keith Cockell, with local farmer Jono Dudfield helping to carve the place, offering views across the Evenlode Valley.

There is also a pavilion equipped with a bar and restaurant celebrating local produce, as well as an alternative performance space in case of bad weather.

It will host a wide range of performances, including the Cotswold Comedy Festival which will be launched this year.

The festival will feature some of the biggest names in comedy including Marcus Brigstocke, Hal Cruttenden and Shaparak Khorsandi.

There will also be jazz nights, opera, outdoor cinema, cabaret and the Real Garden Festival.

Cotswold Journal: Venue to host first-ever Cotswold Comedy FestivalThe venue will host the first-ever Cotswold Comedy Festival

However, the event that Ms Reaves is most excited about is the performance of As I Walked Out One Midsummer Morning, which tells the story of Gloucestershire-born writer Laurie Lee.

The show, an Orchestra of the Swan concert, will feature son Charlie Hamblett, who many will recognize from Killing Eve, and Anton Lesser, who has starred in shows such as Game of Thrones and The Crown.

Before all that, the theater will open with Shakespeare’s Globe on Tour production of Julius Caesar on Tuesday, June 14.

The first season of the amphitheater will then end with a picnic in the Park Proms, in aid of Kate’s Home Nursing.

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