Return of the Williamson Park Shows


2020 will witness the return of the famous travelling theatre in Williamson Park, hosted by the Dukes theatre.

The Dukes ‘Play in the Park’ production will be returning to Williamson
Park, in summer 2020 with a musical rendition of ‘Alice in Wonderland’.

The show has undergone a years’ suspension to raise money which will secure the future of this cultural Lancaster tradition, raising £59,000 so far. Fundraising for the year started with a series of sold-out one-person shows by Burnley-born Sir Ian McKellen which toured Lancaster, Wigan, Liverpool, Manchester, Bolton and Keswick. The Dukes also staged a cross-bay walk in May this year so the public could participate in a sponsored walk across Morecambe Bay to raise funds.

The Dukes with Williamson Park is the first collaboration to introduce this outdoor walkabout theatre, and it has proved an enormous success since its debut. Since it began in 1987 with Shakespeare’s ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’, starring a young Andy Serkis, now an honorary patron of the theatre. More than half a million people have been entertained by The Dukes Park Show, making it the biggest walkabout theatre season in the UK.

The venue’s 2016 production of The Hobbit won the UK Theatre Award for Best Show for Children and Young People, as well as selling out during its final weeks.

The return of the show in summer 2020 will see Alice in Wonderland performed from July 7 to August 22 at 7.15pm in Williamson Park.

Karen O’Neill, Director of The Dukes, said: “We’re thrilled to be able to announce Alice in Wonderland as our 2020 park show title, and are looking forward to seeing the extraordinary world that director and writer Sarah Punshon and the team are going to create for us.

“We are also extremely pleased to extend our preview priced performances to enable as many people as possible to get an accessibly-priced ticket and be a part of this unique Lancaster tradition.”

The venue’s former Artistic Director, Sarah Punshon, will be returning to write and direct the new adaptation. Punshon will be joined by composers Claire Tustin and Ziad Jabero, who she previously collaborated with on the Dukes’ record-breaking Christmas production of Peter Pan.

Sarah added: “I’m delighted to be returning to both The Dukes and the park, to create this brand new adaptation and give generations of families the chance to make new memories together.”

The production will once again take audiences from location to location in the beautiful surroundings of Williamson Park, following the action and the actors as they move from scene to scene.

Alice in Wonderland will be performed from July 7 to August 22 at 7.15pm in Williamson Park. Tickets are available at or by calling 01524 598500.

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