Drama at Deepdene - Live Shakespeare weekend

Thank you to everyone who attended and was involved in our Shakespeare Weekend on 17th and 18th June.

Thanks to The Rough Mechanicals, the fabulous theatre group that gave their time to provide four performances in the searing heat.  Thanks to our amazing volunteers, without who we could not have put the event on, thanks to Kuoni for the generous use of their car park and to all our suppliers.

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Romeo and Juliet at the enchanting Embattled Tower

In the gardens' atmospheric setting, the accomplished actors wove their medley of romance, magic and mystery as they roamed around Deepdene's historical features. The first scene to rouse the crowd was an inspiring Henry V right next to Coady - The Trail's Coade stone lion. Next the Embattled Tower became the backdrop to the drama of Macbeth and the romance of Romeo and Juliet melting the hearts of the audience of all ages. The captivating sonnets and scenes continued apace as the actors brought the gardens to life culminating in a famous Midsummer Night's Dream scene featuring Titania, Bottom and fantastical fairies.

On Sunday a host of children dressed up to take part in a photo shoot around Coady's statue and crowds gathered to hear the latest update from the project team on what they have planned next for The Trail.

Councillor Vivienne Michael, Leader of Mole Valley District Council said, "What a wonderful celebration of culture, family and fun! The atmosphere on both days was fabulous and the weather was kind to us too. Thank you to everyone that came along and enjoyed this first outdoor theatre event on The Trail.

"Since The Trail was launched in September last year we have had over 12,000 visitors experience the newly reinstated paths and enjoy the views. We've run talks and walks for people of all ages and opened Thomas Hope's Mausoleum for public visits.

"In September this year we are supporting Heritage Open Days across Mole Valley. On the 10th September the Mausoleum will be open from 10 - 4pm with a knowledgeable guide on hand all day and teas and coffees available outside.

"None of this would be possible without the tireless work of our Friends of Deepdene Volunteers, who go out in all weathers twice a week to work on the landscape. Thank you to them and everyone involved with The Trail, it truly is an asset to Mole Valley and we will continue to champion it at every opportunity."

See you next time!

Fantastic Coady the lion face paint!

This event took place on: Saturday 17th and Sunday 18th June 2017

Time: 10am to 4pm

Book your day ticket now at Dorking Halls Box Office or 01306 881717 - limited numbers available!

This summer, The Deepdene Trail welcomes live theatre for your delight with four al fresco performances of scenes from Shakespeare's most celebrated plays, set in the atmospheric Deepdene Trail's gardens.

There are two performances to choose from per day at 10.30am and 2.30pm (your ticket is valid for both) and plenty to do in between so buy a ticket for either Saturday 17th or Sunday 18th of June, pack a picnic and make a day of it.

Theatre Company, The Rough Mechanicals, will conjure up the romance of Romeo and Juliet, the heroism of Henry V and the magic and mystery of A Midsummer Night's Dream played against the backdrop of the newly restored gardens, embattled tower and grotto.

With each ticket valid for a whole day, you can dash in early and be there when the gates open at 10am, join the first performance at 10.30am and stay for lunch and our other activities. Or have a lie in and pop over in time for lunchtime activities then join the afternoon performance at 2.30pm.

Throughout the day there will be refreshments on sale and a craft area for children who are invited to dress up as knights or fairies, or wherever their imagination takes them to join the cavalcade of characters to celebrate the day in true Shakespearean style. Those dressed up can take part in a fun costume parade leading from Coady's statue in the centre of the gardens around the parterre at 1pm.

Want to know more about the Deepdene Trail? A short talk exploring the story behind the Deepdene estate will be given at 1.30pm each day.

Check the weather and take your pick, your ticket covers you for the whole day.

Shakespeare's most famous characters will be found around every corner. Who will you meet next?


£3 per person, per day. Under 5's go free.

Parking tickets are available for a space in the Kuoni car park, RH5 4AZ for £2.00 per car, per day. Book your tickets now at Dorking Halls Box Office or 01306 881717.



Where do I buy my ticket?

You can buy your day ticket and parking ticket through the Dorking Halls box office either in person at Dorking Halls, over the phone on 01306 881717 or online at Dorking Halls Box Office.

What does my event ticket entitle me to?

Each ticket for the Shakespeare event covers you for a full day of activity. You can attend anything or everything on the below schedule on the day your ticket is booked for, and you are free to arrive and leave at any time that suits you.


(the same schedule will run on both the Saturday and Sunday)

The Gardens will be open for this event each day from 10am - 4pm.

• 10.30am - 12pm - first promenade performance: visitors will be led round the Gardens through famous scenes and speeches from different Shakespeare plays inspired by the landscape of Deepdene and performed by local troupe the Rough Mechanicals.

• 1pm - Knights and Fairies parade for all the costumed children starting at the Coady the lion statue.

• 1.30pm -2pm - 'The story of the Deepdene Trail' a short talk about the history of the estate and the project by the project team.

• 2.30pm - 4pm - second promenade performance: repeat of the morning for visitors who have chosen to arrive later in the day.

• Also available - Refreshments including drinks, snacks and sandwiches, an ice cream stand (12-2.30pm), a children's craft tent with the opportunity to make masks and costumes and get little faces painted!

There are a limited number of tickets per day to ensure everyone can enjoy the performances.

When and where can I park?

When purchasing your event ticket you will be asked if you require parking. If yes then you can purchase a parking space for £2 in the Kuoni car park, RH5 4AZ, right next to the Gardens. Thanks to the generosity of Kuoni for this event.

Your parking ticket will be valid for the whole day for which you have booked and you can park anytime between 9.30am and 4pm. The gates will officially open at 10am to all visitors on foot but it is possible to get parked early.

If you do not want to purchase a parking ticket - or they are sold out - the nearest car parks are listed below and take coins for payment or can be paid via the RingGo service.

Dorking Halls - RH4 1SD 15 minutes walk to The Trail

Pippbrook Council offices - RH4 1SJ 15 minutes walk to The Trail

St Martin's Walk - RH4 1DX 20 Minute walk to The Trail

Parking is FREE in these car parks on Sundays.

Can I bring my dog?

For this performance we ask that only guide and assistance dogs are brought.

At all other times of the year we are happy for well-behaved dogs to visit the Trail. Find out more on our visitors with dogs page.

What should I wear on the day?

Please check the weather forecast before the day and dress appropriately. In the event of rain, wellies or suitable shoes are advisable. If it's warm and sunny, please ensure you drink plenty of water and use sun block.

Children are encouraged to dress up as knights or fairies and there will be opportunities to add to their costume in the children's craft tent on the day and be part of our children's costume parade at 1pm.

Will I be able to purchase food and drink on the day?

There will be food available to purchase from Allez Nutrition who are providing, sandwiches, snacks and drinks. We are also welcoming Gray's Dairy who will be selling their delightful local ice cream between 12pm and 2pm.

Everyone is also welcome to bring a picnic to the Garden, there are a few picnic benches scattered about the parterre area and it will be possible to put your blankets down on the grassy slope between the performances (12pm-2pm).

Will you have toilets there?

On the day we will have toilets available in the car park adjacent to the entrance to the Gardens from the car park.

Is there disabled access to this event?

There are 4 disabled parking spaces available on the day right next to the Garden entrance within Kuoni car park for Blue Badge holders. The parking in general in very close to the Garden entrance. Please bring your badge and show it to the volunteers on site as you arrive who will point you in the right direction.

The Gardens are then accessed from this car park by a short packed gravel slope and a brief section (c. 2m) of smooth grass. Once in the Gardens the majority of the valley can be traversed on level packed gravel paths newly instated over winter with only a couple of short sections of grass.

However, the valley is naturally very steep sided so there is a reasonably steep slope to be negotiated along these paths to reach the top. A full description of the paths with maps showing the Gardens is available on our Access page.

A disabled toilet is available in the car park adjacent to the entrance to the Gardens from the car park right next to the disabled parking.

Will there be anyone filming at the event?


Will I be able to sit down there?

There are a few benches scattered around the Gardens, picnic benches and seating by the food van and there will be some temporary priority seating near the performance areas in the valley but please ensure these are free for those in need.

What do we do with any picnic rubbish on The Trail?

As on any day out in the Surrey countryside we ask that you take your rubbish home with you, on the day we will have bins available in the car park as you exit the Gardens.

Will my children be able to scoot round it?

The Trail is not suitable for children's scooters. There is much uneven ground and grassy parts on The Trail which will inevitably mean that much more carrying of scooters than scooting would be required.

Can I cycle around The Trail?

In short we ask that you do not. The new paths have been repaired and renewed as a historic walking Trail and whilst we welcome everyone, we are not recommending that anyone cycles The Trail.

We are aware there are many beautiful cycling opportunities throughout Mole Valley that are better suited to cycling than The Deepdene Trail.

I would like to donate money to future projects on The Deepdene Estate, who should I talk to?

On the day we will have a cash collection area at the Organisers tent for donations for further events and conservation work on the Trail. If you would like to discuss other kinds of donation please call us directly on 01306 885001 or email us at thedeepdenetrail@molevalley.gov.uk

I'd like to volunteer with The Friends of Deepdene, how do I do that?

If you would like to volunteer with The Friends of Deepdene, please contact us on thedeepdenetrail@molevalley.gov.uk or 01306 885001.

I'd like to organise a special group visit and tour, who do I contact?

Please get in touch with Dorking Museum who provide guided Group Tours available on any date to suit you, and regular walks open to all will be offered throughout the year for a small donation towards the Museum.

Visit Dorking Museum's website to find out more and book your tour.

Can I hold an event on The Deepdene Trail?

We will be accepting requests for events, please email thedeepdenetrail@molevalley.gov.uk with your proposed idea.

Who do I tell if I see someone damaging The Trail?

If you do see The Trail being damaged in any way please contact us on thedeepdenetrail@molevalley.gov.uk or 01306 885001.

Can I fly a drone over The Trail land?

The use of drones is a developing topic and is regulated by the Civil Aviation Authority.

Drones should not be flown over people and as The Trail is not staffed we have no way of guaranteeing at any time that it will be safe for them to be used on The Trail.

We also have concerns that pilots of drones do not necessarily have suitable insurance if their drone were to cause damage, or injure somebody on The Trail.

Therefore we ask that only our own contractors who are regulated and insured fly drones over The Trail.

Once more guidance is issued by the Civil Aviation Authority we will review our position on this.

Have a question we haven't answered here?

Please either call us on 01306 879273 or email us at thedeepdenetrail@molevalley.gov.uk and we will be happy to help.