Henry V

By William Shakespeare

Roker Park, Sunderland 

8th -21st July 7pm

The performance begins at Beach Entrance by the pods

The Tin Soldier

By David Farn

Mowbray Park, Sunderland 

10th and 11th Aug 11.30 and  2.30 daily

The performance begins at the museum gate

Comedy of Errors

By William Shakespeare

Barnes Park, Sunderland 

29th Aug – 1st Sept 6pm

The performance begins at the Coach House Cafe

About the Plays in the Parks


Theatre Space North East’s ‘Expedition Control’ are delighted to announce the return of their much-loved Plays In The Parks season, thanks to support from Sunderland’s Libraries Service.


The season of outdoor productions has delighted audiences (or ‘adventurers’ to use their proper title) with its unique brand of roving storytelling, leading audiences throughout the stunning landscapes of Sunderland’s parks and open spaces, for many years.  However, the company were dealt with a devastating blow in 2018, when they discovered that almost all of the vital funding required to stage the Plays In the Parks season had been suddenly and unexpectedly withdrawn. The company took the difficult decision to put the season on hold until new supporters could be found.


Thankfully, with support from the Libraries Service, the Plays in The Parks will go ahead this year, returning to Roker Park, Mowbray Park and Barnes Park with a mix of classic Shakespeare and specially commissioned children’s theatre in July and August.


The productions (or expeditions as we like to call them) will once again make creative and innovative use of the existing public space, to transport adventurers right into the heart of some of the greatest stories ever told. The epic battles of Shakespeare’s Henry V(Roker Park) will take place in front, behind and all around you, whilst the whimsical adventures of The Tin Solider will provide a whole new perspective on the city’s Mowbray Park for little and big kids alike. The side-splitting Comedy of Errors will close off the season in uproarious fashion as the sun sets in Barnes Park.


As has been the case since the first production in Barnes Park in 2012, each expedition will be free to attend, with dog walkers, bike riders and park users alike joining the journey along the route. No ticket purchase or advanced booking is necessary, although the opportunity to donate towards the cost of the productions, which again is a recommended £10 per explorer, will be provided at the end of the show. Attendees are free to give as much or as little as they like however.


The Plays in the Parks are promenade performances; therefore, audiences will be expected to move around the park to see the show.


Each performance will begin promptly at the stated time, with the first scene taking place at the start point before the production moves to another location within the park. Expedition Guides wearing orange uniforms are on hand throughout for any guidance and assistance.  


The performances will go ahead in all but the most extreme weather conditions. Adventurers are advised to dress accordingly and be prepared to move around the parks to see the show. Foldable chairs that can be easily transported around the park are allowed although the shows generally don’t remain in one place for very long. All animals must be kept on a leash and we kindly ask all adventurers to refrain from smoking or using electronic smoking devices when part of the crowd watching the show. Whilst every effort is made to provide step-free access for those with access requirements, we cannot always guarantee that the route will be entirely accessible. An alternative route may be used for wheelchair users, which may result in a section of the show being missed to accommodate the longer transfer.

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The performances will go ahead in all but the most extreme weather conditions. Adventurers are advised to dress accordingly and be prepared to move around the parks to see the show.