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20th August 2020

Shakespeare in the Garden returns to Fuller’s this September

Fuller’s, the premium pubs and hotels business, is delighted to announce the welcome return of Shakespeare in the Garden. Produced by theatre company Open Bar, this year’s production sees The Tempest taking centre stage in pub gardens across the Fuller’s estate. This is the ninth year running that Fuller’s pub customers have been able to enjoy alfresco productions from Britain’s greatest playwright, but this year, of course, with a socially distanced twist.

Customers can attend one of 21 performances of The Tempest across 14 Fuller’s pubs from 1 September to 30 September 2020. Tickets must be purchased in advance from

Open Bar co-founder and director, Nicky Diss, said: “Every year we try to bring accessible and fun Shakespeare shows to Fuller’s pub gardens and, this year, we all need inspiring theatre more than ever. We’re dusting off our aerial rig and The Tempest will be blowing into a beer garden near you.”

Open Bar

Open Bar Theatre was formed in 2016 by Nicky Diss and Vicky Gaskin to produce Shakespeare for Fuller’s pub gardens. It is a female-led company, creating theatre that is accessible to everyone. The company adopts a lively, informal style for its performances, which fits perfectly with the relaxed setting of a picturesque pub garden.

Vicky says: “Our audiences are a real mix of pub goers and theatre fans. We love them all but nothing beats witnessing someone enjoying Shakespeare for the first time. The more reluctant they are at the beginning, the more magical it is.”

Supporting the Arts

This year has, of course, been a bit different. Nicky says: “Trying to produce a show in 2020 has been a roller coaster to say the least. Fuller’s has been so positive and supportive throughout and, in a world where all artists are feeling undervalued and concerned for their future, we feel immensely privileged to be able to provide work for creatives – and ourselves.”

Vicky says: “We certainly don’t shy away from a challenge. We love making theatre in unconventional spaces, so why not in unconventional times? Two years ago, Nicky gave birth a week before we went into rehearsals and I got married between rehearsals and opening night, so incorporating social distancing isn’t likely to intimidate us.”

The Tempest will be boldest show yet for Shakespeare in The Garden, with original music, vibrant costumes and a hint of aerial circus. Open Bar serves Shakespeare like a cool frothy pint on a sunny day: it’s refreshing, comforting and will have you singing all the way home.

The Tempest – Play Synopsis

Isolation, a hostile environment, divisions in the royal family – The Tempest is a must-watch play for anyone who doubts that history repeats itself.

Prospero is a former duke, exiled on a virtually uninhabited island in the middle of the Mediterranean for 12 years.  Fortunately for him, all his enemies are about to sail past so, he conjures a storm, wrecks their ships, and leaves them separated all over his new home so he can regain his dukedom and his freedom.

It’s not the greatest plan, but it’s all he’s got…and in a modern twist, it all has to comply with social distancing measures.

Will he get everything he desires? Will he figure out what “one-metre plus” means? And will we all get the happy ending that we so desperately need this year?

A full list of venues, performances and ticket prices can be found at


A selection of photos from last year’s production can be downloaded here –

A selection of videos from last year’s production can be streamed here –

Website –

Facebook – @FullerSmithandTurner

Instagram – @Fullers

Twitter – @Fullers

Please note that we have a small number of review tickets for certain shows. Please contact the press office for more details.


For further information and photography, please contact the press office:

Georgina Wald                     020 8996 2198              

Mike Trevena                                                               

Notes to Editors:

Fuller, Smith & Turner PLC is the premium pubs and hotels business that is famous for beautiful and inviting pubs with delicious, fresh food, a vibrant and interesting range of drinks, and engaging service from passionate people. Fuller’s has 215 managed pubs, with 1,028 boutique bedrooms, and 177 Tenanted Inns. The estate is predominately located in the South of England (44% of sites are within the M25) and stretches from our City of London heartland to the Jurassic Coast via the New Forest. Our Managed Pubs and Hotels include 15 iconic Ale & Pie pubs, seven stunning hotels in the Cotswolds and Bel & The Dragon – six exquisite country inns located in the Home Counties. In summary, Fuller’s is the home of great pubs, outstanding hospitality and passionate people, where everyone is welcome and leaves that little bit happier than they arrived.