The Maltings Theatre

The Roman Theatre
Open Air Festival
28th May – 11th July 2021

Download PDF Brochure 2021  

The Festival

The Maltings Theatre and OVO created The Roman Theatre Open Air Festival in 2014, bringing this unique and historic venue back to life, after it stood largely abandoned for many centuries. 

As we now enter our seventh year, the festival is recognised as one of the UK’s leading outdoor theatre events. 2021 is our biggest and best festival yet with 14 shows, 8 companies and 69 performances presenting a diverse range of incredible theatre, opera and music over 7 weeks.

What's on

View the full digital programme via the button to the left, or visit our What's On page for full details and to buy tickets. 

Find Us

The Roman Theatre of Verulamium is situated on Bluehouse Hill, AL3 6AE.

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The Maltings Theatre


16th June - 17th June 2021

Presented by Charles Court Opera

Running Time: 120 mins



The “masters of G&S in small spaces” and Off West End award winning Charles Court Opera, present their enchanting - and timely - production of Gilbert & Sullivan’s sharp satire of power, privilege and parliamentary democracy.

This witty and magical operetta tells a tale of forbidden love causing an absurdist fusion of two worlds - the magical fairies of Fairyland and a bamboozled House of Peers. Featuring some of Sullivan’s most stunning music, including ‘Oh foolish fay’, ‘If you go in, you’re sure to win’ and what is popularly known as ‘The Nightmare Song,’ brought to life by Musical Director David Eaton, audiences can expect an evening of first class entertainment and riotous fun suitable for all ages.

The production is directed by John Savournin, whose recent and current productions include Trial by Jury for Opera North, and The Pirates of Penzance in collaboration with Opera Holland Park.



★★★★★ “an irresistible staging” - The Stage

★★★★★ "From the opening explosion of energy this is a show that knows where it's heading, and that's to five-star heaven" - What's On Stage

★★★★ “Wickedly funny” - The Guardian 

★★★★ “Exquisite, ingenious” - Evening Standard

★★★★ “Extremely well sung” - Time Out Critics’ Choice

“A sparklingly fresh package of laughs, pathos, foolery and high-class music making” - Opera Now



Director: John Savournin
Musical Director: David Eaton Choreographer: Jo Meridith
Designer: Rachel Szmukler
Lighting Designer: Claire Childs 

Charles Court Opera has been described as one of the leading and most versatile chamber opera and music theatre companies in the UK. They are considered one of the champions of the current reinvigoration of Gilbert and Sullivan, described as “the masters of G&S in small places” and were the 2020 Off-west-end award winners for Best Opera for their production of 'H.M.S. Pinafore'.

Aside from their Gilbert & Sullivan productions, their notorious ‘Boutique Pantos’ have become a legendary part of London’s Christmas, known for their ‘off-piste’ nature and described by the Telegraph as “an annual madhouse”.

They are committed to devising new work, education and outreach, have performed across the UK in venues ranging from pub theatres to concert halls, and toured to the US and Europe.

They have co-produced operas with the Iford Arts Festival as a regular visiting company, and are proud to be an associate company of The King’s Head Theatre, London. This summer, they are to co-produce The Pirates of Penzance with Opera Holland Park, and will also present Express G&S: The Complete works of G&S in 75 minutes at The Roman Theatre Open Air Festival.


Twitter: @charlescourt

Facebook: charlescourtopera


Production photographs by Robert Workman.


This show is eligible for a multibuy discount. Receive a 20% discount when you book for two eligible shows, a 30% discount when you book for three, a 40% discount when you book for four and a 50% discount when you book for five. Shows must all be booked at the same time.


Where can I book tickets?
Tickets are available at There are no box office facilities at the venue. Please book your tickets in advance.
I don't think I received my tickets, where are they and when were they sent?
When you book tickets, you will then receive two emails, a confirmation of your order and a second email containing your tickets. If you can't find them, please check your spam folder
Do I need to print my tickets?
No. In fact, please don't! We're trying to improve our carbon footprint. When you book your tickets you will recieve an e-ticket via email that you can show on your phone or smart device on arrival. 
What are the discounts?
Multibuy: Receive a 20% discount when you book for two eligible shows, a 30% discount when you book for three, a 40% discount when you book for four and a 50% discount when you book for five. Shows must all be booked at the same time.
Super Saturday: Receive a 40% discount when you book for a triple bill of Peter Pan, Comedy of Errors and The Winter’s Tale on Saturday 26th June.
Where is the theatre?
The Roman Theatre of Verulamium is situated on Bluehouse Hill, AL3 6AE.
Where can I park?
There is no parking or drop off at The Roman Theatre itself. Please do not try to enter the site in your car. The nearest parking (5 minutes' walk) is the NCP St Albans Verulamium Museum. At weekends this car park is often full, alternative parking can be found in the city centre or at Westminster Lodge, (10-15 minutes’ walk).
This is all outdoors, so what if it rains?
The Roman Theatre is entirely uncovered, so please dress appropriately (no umbrellas, ponchos encouraged!). The performance will continue whatever the weather, unless conditions become dangerous. In the event of weather related cancellation, we will rebook you for a future performance. Refunds are not given in the event of bad weather. Full terms.
Is it Covid safe?
We’ve done all we can to make the festival safe. Our performers and crew are observing strict protocols in rehearsals and backstage. Our stewards have been given specialist training and equipment. Our site has been redesigned with Covid in mind, including new seating layouts, bar arrangements, payment systems and cleaning processes. View our full Covid-19 policy.

Also coming up at The Maltings Theatre…

View all what’s on

The Winter's Tale at The Minack, Cornwall

18th July - 28th June 2021

The Winter's Tale at The Minack, Cornwall

Showtime! Hits from Hollywood, Broadway & Beyond

11th July

Showtime! Hits from Hollywood, Broadway & Beyond

A Spoonful of Musicals

11th July

A Spoonful of Musicals