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‘Sugar Lumps and Rosettes all round!’

A New Light Shines on a Black Horse.


Once upon a time, outdoor theatre was just an excuse for a picnic.  Nothing much was expected of the production beyond mild diversion. In recent years, well led by the Open Air Theatre in London’s Regent’s Park, the dramatic bar has been raised considerably higher.

One touring company, PEEL Heritage, has had the grand idea of using stately homes as the backdrop to its promenade productions.

It fits the bill perfectly for their adaptation of Anna Sewell’s take of Black Beauty, much of which is set in Squire Gordon’s splendid Birtwick Park, which has a stable block, paddocks and hot-and-cold running grooms.  James Stone’s dramatisation – which I saw at Althorp House in Northamptionshire – retains Black Beauty as our narrator……..

Please click on this link to read the full article which appeared in The Mail on Sunday on 29th July 2012.