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Summer shows at Heaton Park

Noel and Liam make way for Shakespeare and Cinderella

Published on June 16th 2009.

Summer shows at Heaton Park

Heaton Park used to be a bit of an embarrassment to the council. Back in the 1980s, it had a neglected, slightly scary feel to it. It wasn't somewhere you'd want to wander about alone. It wasn't somewhere you'd particularly want to wander about at all.

Then the council got a whole load of cash from the Heritage Lottery Fund in the late 1990s, and knocked the place into shape. Heaton Hall is still in need of repair, but the surrounding lawns, gardens, lakes and woods are looking better than ever, and the events schedule is getting busier each year.

This summer's programme kicked off with the Oasis concerts which saw 210,000 fans descend on the park over the course of three nights. The next lot of events won't attract audiences of such volume (in size or sound levels – their collective singing of 'Champagne Supernova' could be heard way beyond the park gates) but they'll be crowd-pleasers in their own way.

First up is the return of Shakespeare's Globe on Tour at the end of June with The Comedy of Errors. A small cast will perform it on an Elizabethan-inspired stage with the audience bringing their own rugs, seats and if they're unlucky, umbrellas. Last year's Romeo and Juliet was very popular, so you're advised to book in advance. Tickets are £10-15 from www.quaytickets.com and the play runs from June 23-28.

In July, Feelgood Theatre Productions will bring the Bard to the park again with a roaming production of Macbeth. The woods will witness murder, madness and witchcraft – all set to a fusion of text, a capella singing, dance and drumming from Zimbabwean artists. The play is being shown from 15 July-2 August and tickets cost £9-£16 from www.quaytickets.com.

Then in August, Chapterhouse Theatre arrive with their production of Cinderella. It's designed to appeal to young children, who are invited to come in fancy dress, so get your glass slippers and tiaras ready. This will take place on August 28-29 and tickets cost £6-£11 from www.seetickets.com.

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11 comments so far, continue the conversation, write a comment.

AliumbongoJune 16th 2009.

I was in 'Heaton Park' yesterday for the race for life and they could do with filling in the pot holes...but I have been visiting HP since I was in nappies and it is a haven of enjoyment....thuggs have to go somehere to chill out as well you know. The park has pulled off some massive events in the last few years, but lets not forget the popes visit in the early eighties....only one person was arrested at that event. Maybe the weeing girls and peeing men drank to much beer (amazing). Go and visit it's a great day out for all the family and brilliant for events. xx

IanJune 16th 2009.

Oh come on. 'Back in the 1980s, it had a neglected, slightly scary feel to it. It wasn't somewhere you'd want to wander about alone. It wasn't somewhere you'd particularly want to wander about at all.' Garbage. The place was beautiful, wild and alluring. I visited the park at least twice a week then as I do now. OK it's had a makeover, but to suggest it's been delivered from evil is misleading, disingenuous and just plain wrong.

GrandwazooJune 16th 2009.

I went to a family event in Heaton Park about 4 years ago - settled down for a picnic and watched a bunch of scally's in a car doing handbrake turns just 50 yards away from young kids and family's - seriously. The reports I heard about the Oasis gigs were terrible - £50 for the privilege of getting soaked in piss - unbelievable! - thats not rock n roll its mindless drunken thugish behaviour - New York is safer

Salford CripsJune 16th 2009.

*sigh* Is anything for real?

AvoJune 16th 2009.

Are you for real?

AnonymousJune 16th 2009.

Dora, you 'certainly need your wits around you' while relaxing in Heaton Park? Well, you're not Dora the Explorer that's for sure! Heaton Park is as safe as any park I know of. Are you suggesting we wear camouflage and sneak, commando like, from tree to tree? People, go there enjoy it, you're safe - don't listen to these muppets.

A LocalJune 16th 2009.

How much more inaccurate can this article be?? No public park is 100% safe, but this writer has made it sound like the Bronx! I grew up close to Heaton Park and it was never a scary place to be. My mum frequently took me and my siblings into the park throughout the eighties. In fact, she’s often commented on how safe she felt in there on her own with young children, and believe me; we explored nearly every corner of the place! I often went in with friends during my teen years and as girls we never felt scared or had any negative experiences. The Hall has definitely been shamefully neglected over the years, but hopefully, with the lottery funding that it’s receiving it will soon be restored to its former glory. I love that theatres are using the park too as it’s such a great alternative venue. I saw Romeo and Juliet there last year and it was a great experience. I also hope that there will be more concerts in the future like the Oasis gig. It was well managed and I’ve heard very little negative feedback. The park is for the public to enjoy and hopefully Manchester City Council will learn from their past negligence and take good care of it for the future.

Salford CripsJune 16th 2009.

I don't know bout the 80s like, but now nobody get nervous, you ain't got nothing to fear. If you're robbed it'll be by the Salford Crips, that's the best there is

CasJune 16th 2009.

Ian is spot on! I was taken very often as a child and my friends and I went without our parents often. Sometimes on a sunny day, it seemed like every child in Manchester was there. They even had an outdoor swimming pool, we went swimming in the lake (even though you shouldn't) and generally had a great time. The place always felt very safe. Sure there were probably seedy corners and probably still are but you'd have to go looking for them. I'm sorry but whoever wrote that bit about the 80's hasn't a clue what they are talking about.

suvJune 16th 2009.

Who is this ra ra... Probably not from Manchester, probably never even visited Heaton Park in the 'embarrassing 80's', probably not even born. Brilliant, we can all make assumptions!!!

DoraJune 16th 2009.

Agree with Grandazoo re the Oasis concert - girls peeing against the fence, into cups, one guy spraying his friends all very gruesome! However, really isn't fair to say that this is representative of the park on a day to day basis and hear the horse riding and outdoor play are great. Ultimately it's a scenic place in an urban area of Manchester where you can relax but certainly need your wits around you!

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