Oadby and Wigston Borough Council

05/14/2024 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 05/14/2024 04:31

Open-air Shakespeare and more planned for summer events at Oadby oasis

Published: Tuesday, 14 May 2024

*Shared in partnership with the University of Leicester

The University of Leicester has revealed the annual summer events programme at the Botanic Garden, in Oadby.

The University's College of Life Sciences, Attenborough Arts Centre and the Friends of the Botanic Garden have joined forces with Oadby & Wigston Borough Council to promote a series of events for local residents and communities to enjoy all that the Botanic Garden has to offer throughout the summer.

Highlights of the summer events programme include a new series of Evening Talks in the Botanic Garden at Beaumont Hall. Stuart Desjardins, Early Career Fellow in the School of Biological Sciences and Curator of University of Leicester Herbarium, will give the inaugural talk: 'Why we need herbaria in the 21st century' on Monday 10 June at 7pm.

Meanwhile there will be the return of outdoor Shakespeare with on Wednesday 19 and Thursday 20 June at 6pm, presented by Attenborough Arts Centre. The production will see the Botanic Garden become the ancient Forest of Arden, serving as the ideal backdrop for one of Shakespeare's most famous and quotable comedies. The show is produced by Duke's Theatre Company following their sold-out debut last year.

The Botanic Garden's ever-popular annual Plant Sale and Family Day run by the Friends of the Botanic Garden takes place on Sunday 30 June with specialist plant sales, free children's and family activities, music, entertainment and refreshments as well as stalls and demonstrations about arts, crafts, ecology and wildlife.

For young families, Attenborough Arts Centre will present a music theatre adaptation of , the popular children's storybook by Gillian Hibbs, for children aged three-to-eight and their grownups. About a young boy who loves plants but doesn't have a real garden, the show follows Errol and his sister Tia as they transform their neglected rooftop into a beautiful community garden. The show takes place on Saturday 20 and Sunday 21 July, 11am to midday, and is produced by national touring company Golden Toad Theatre.

Finally, in September, the Botanic Garden Festival on Sunday 1 September will celebrate the University's communities with a wide variety of food stalls and hands-on activities and entertainment for all ages. Further details about this free community event will be announced in due course.

Professor Tom Robinson, Chair of the University of Leicester's Botanic Garden Board, said: "I am delighted to again be working in partnership with Oadby & Wigston Borough Council to host another successful year of our Botanic Garden summer events programme, supported using public funding by Arts Council England through its support of Attenborough Arts Centre.

"From outdoor Shakespeare to the much-loved annual plant sale, we have a mix of inspiring and culturally engaging events lined up at this unique urban oasis. I encourage visitors to come and explore the beautiful surroundings and enjoy the opportunities we have on offer throughout the summer."

Anne Court, Chief Executive of Oadby & Wigston Borough Council, said: "Summer is all about being able to get out and enjoy the local area with your friends and family, and we're thrilled to be supporting such an excellent set of events.

"A huge thank you to the University, Attenborough Arts Centre and the Botanic Garden for bringing this high-quality programme of events to our borough and I'm sure they will be very well supported by local people."

For more details of the programme, visit the Botanic Garden events page and the Attenborough Arts Centre website.