Ripon Theatre Festival Set to Return

23 January 2023

Ripon Theatre Festival will take place this year from 7-11 June with a range of indoor and outdoor venues set to take part across the city. The festival promises a colourful mix of drama, puppetry, open-air theatre, storytelling, street entertainment and more with something for all ages across four days and five evenings.

Ripon Theatre Festival is holding a launch event on Thursday 30 March with a performance by Jeffrey Holland (Hi-De-Hi, You Rang, My Lord). Following critically acclaimed sell-out runs at the Edinburgh Fringe … and this is my Friend, Mr Laurel, is a one-man show about friendship, memories and a couple of remarkable lives. Tickets for the evening include the performance, refreshments and a chance to hear about events planned for the June festival.

Ripon Theatre Festival had its first events in the summer of 2022. Audiences topped 2500 and the city streets and open spaces came alive with a variety of characters and acts. Children attended workshops, free open-air theatre and puppet shows and adults were entertained with some of the best touring drama that the region has to offer.

Jeffrey Holland in “and this is my Friend, Mr Laurel”
Jeffrey Holland in “and this is my Friend, Mr Laurel”

Full details of the 2023 Festival programme will be announced in the spring.

Festival Co-Director, Katie Scott says that audiences can expect the return of a few favourites from 2022 plus many surprises:

We will be welcoming back open-air theatre specialists Illyria to the stunning surroundings of Fountains Abbey, this year bringing us their fun family production of Robin Hood as our festival finale.

Our plans also include a spirited Jane Austen adaptation, children’s shows in the Library and drama from up-and-coming regional theatre companies in Ripon Arts Hub.

And that’s all in addition to a Family Day in Ripon Spa Gardens and plenty of free street entertainment and pop-up acts across the weekend.

Ripon’s largest employer, Wolseley, has come on board as the festival’s main sponsor again for 2023 and local businesses are also signing up as event sponsors. These include local auctioneers, Elstob and Elstob, Specsavers, Ripon, Econ Engineering and Valentino’s. The Festival is also supported by Ripon BID (Business Improvement District), Ripon Rotary Club and through North Yorkshire County Council grants.

Further details about the festival’s plans and ticket link for … and this is my Friend, Mr Laurel can be found at

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