It feels as if the entirety of the UK has been on one massive high for what feels like the whole of summer, with the glorious weather we’ve actually been able to get out our paddling pools and our BBQs for more than a couple of days!

The summer high reached Southwell this year too, the beautiful picturesque English town situated in the heart of Newark and Sherwood has enjoyed a summer of theatre and music with people coming from far and wide to bask in the joyous energy emanating from Southwell.

O Romeo, Romeo, wherefore art thou Romeo!

Summer kicked off in Southwell with the Southwell Minster’s epic outdoor theatre season. Set in the ruins of the old Archbishop’s Palace in the stunning grounds of the Minster nearly 1,000 people were royally entertained across three shows.

Robin Hood at Southwell MinsterFirst we saw local hero Robin Hood defeat the evil Sheriff of Nottingham in Chapterhouse Theatre’s production of Robin Hood and his Merry Men. Medieval music, swordplay and a jolly dose of humour set the scene for a fabulous summer of theatre.

The quite brilliant Handlebards returned to Southwell, after their knockout performance of A Midsummer Night’s Dream in 2017, with a hilarious production of Romeo & Juliet. This time is was an all-female cast who entertained over 400 members of the public who sat through the pouring rain (the first day it had rained for 61 days!) with soggy picnics but smiles on their faces from start to finish.

The final outdoor performance of the summer was Lewis Carroll’s classic Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by This is my Theatre. Alice, The Mad Hatter, The Queen of Heart and The Cheshire Cat wowed almost 300 spectators in glorious sunshine.

The 2019 summer of outdoor theatre season promises to be even better so watch out for announcements regarding performances by following Southwell Minster on Facebook and Twitter.

Angelic music could be heard throughout Southwell

Southwell Music Festival

Southwell Music Festival, Dick Makin Imaging

Over the course of 6 days (22nd – 27th August) Southwell was transformed into the home of classical music. With the majestic Minster at its heart, 5,500 people were given the opportunity to experience music-making of the highest standard, further enhanced by the vitality and passion of the musicians involved.

Over 30 music events, of which nearly half were free, filled the festival with a remarkable range of repertoire from Messiaen’s Quarter for the End of Time, Bach’s B Minor Mass, Elgar’s Cello Concerto, Dvořák’s Strong Sextet and Gypsy Songs and MacMillan’s A Child’s Prayer, to Rimsky-Korsakov’s Flight of the Bumblebee, Debussy’s Preludes, Janáček’s Diary of one who Disappeared and Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons.

Sheku Kanneh-Mason at Southwell Music Festival

Sheku Kanneh-Mason, Dick Makin Imaging

The exciting programme features acclaimed solo artists including Sheku Kanneh-Mason, Clare Hammond, Madeleine Shaw, Andrew Tortise, Graham South, Suzannah Hurrell, Roland Wood, Clive Mantle, Alison Rose, Marcus Farnsworth, Jamie Campbell and James Cheung amongst others.

Themes of hope and reconciliation were woven through the Festival in this the Centenary year of the Armistices with poignant performances in the concers of Voices of Remembrance and For the Fallen.

The Festival was once again a brilliant success with the entirety of Southwell joining in with the fun as beautiful music filled the streets of Southwell for 6 days.

If you can’t wait until next year, Southwell Music Festival will host a Christmas Celebration Concert on Friday 21st December at Southwell Minster, for tickets please click here.

The 2019 Festival will take place from Wednesday 21st to Monday 26th August. The full programme for the 2019 Festival will be announced at the concert in the Minster on Friday 12th April 2019. For now, keep up to fate with everything Southwell Music Festival on their Facebook and Twitter.


Thank you to Glenn Formoy, Head of Marketing & Events at Southwell Minster and Emma Mennis, PR for Southwell Music Festival for the above information.


Previous Blog Posts 2018

Weekend Stay in Newark & Sherwood, Aug 20, 2018

Heritage Open Days in Newark & Sherwood, Aug 13, 2018

Newark Air Museum & Rufford Abbey celebrate the 1940s, Aug 5, 2018


What to do when school’s out in Newark & Sherwood, Jul 29, 2018

New Sherwood Forest Visitor Centre nearing completion, Jul 9, 2018

Byron Festival 2018, Jul 3, 2018


National Holocaust Centre and Museum open gardens, Jun 27, 2018

A fabulous Father’s Day in Newark & Sherwood, Jun 11, 2018


20 family activities for May half term in Newark & Sherwood, May 21, 2018

Take a journey back in time, May 13, 2018


Literary festivals in Newark & Sherwood, Apr 30, 2018

Newark & Sherwood pull out all the stops for May Day living history weekend, Apr 16, 2018

Newark Air Museum: 45 years open to the public, Apr 9, 2018


Cyclists welcome in Newark & Sherwood, Mar 26, 2018

A superior shopping experience in Newark and Sherwood, Mar 19, 2018

Music festivals for all takes in Newark and Sherwood, Mar 13, 2018

Follow the Easter bunny to Newark & Sherwood, Mar 5, 2018


Have a wonderful wedding in Newark & Sherwood, Feb 27, 2018

If antiques are your thing, you will love Newark and its surrounds, Feb 19, 2018

Discover interesting outdoor skills in Newark and Sherwood, Feb 10, 2018

February half term fun in Newark and Sherwood, Feb 5, 2018


Preserving the coal mining past of Newark and Sherwood, Jan 29, 2018

Relive Civil War history in Newark and Sherwood, Jan 22, 2018

Experience the legacy of Newark and Sherwood’s great Dukes of old, Jan 15, 2018

Southwell holds some historic surprises for visitors, Jan 8, 2018

Follow the legends and tales of King John across Newark & Sherwood, Jan 2, 2018