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5/26/2021 7:00:00 PM 5/26/2021 7:00:00 PM

*Tickets also available via the Brighton Fringe box office*

Brighton

The Lady in the Van

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  • 26-May-2021 19:00 PM - 22:00 PM
The Lady in the  Van
Fantasic For Families
  • Family £45

*Tickets also available via the Brighton Fringe box office*

If a performance has sold out on our system, there may still be tickets available via the Brighton Fringe. You can buy tickets through their website

From the team that brought you 2020’s production of Abigail’s Party comes a funny and poignant tale about the generosity of the human spirit. Possibly. 

“When Miss Shepherd drove her van into my garden in 1974 friends used to ask me if I was planning to write a play about her. I wasn’t, but 25 years later I did.” – Alan Bennett. 

She came for three months and stayed for fifteen years.

The Lady in the Van tells the mostly true story of Alan Bennett’s friendship with Miss Mary Shepherd, a crabby and somewhat unsanitary homeless woman who moved her broken down van into Alan’s garden.  Deeply eccentric and stubborn to her bones, Miss Shepherd was not an easy tenant. And Bennett, despite inviting her in the first place, was a reluctant landlord. And yet she lived there for fifteen years… 

“Some people might say I was a tramp.  It’s just want of perception”. 

Praise for Abigail’s Party:“High class and supreme quality production” The Sussex Newspaper “A perfect way to spend a summer evening” The Argus 

Hobnobs for charity! A selection of Alan Bennett’s favourite biscuits, bakes and cakes will be available before the show (prepared and served in full PPE) in support of RISE, the Brighton charity for domestic abuse. Or buy a raffle ticket for a chance to win a whole Victoria sponge!

  • Theatre

“When Miss Shepherd drove her van into my garden in 1974 friends used to ask me if I was planning to write a play about her. I wasn’t, but 25 years later I did.” – Alan Bennett. 

She came for three months and stayed for fifteen years.

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Venue details

Brighton Open Air Theatre (BOAT)
Dyke Road Park, Dyke Road BN3 6EH

  • Brighton

    THE NOISE NEXT DOOR: RUN WILD!

    26-Jun-2021 14:00 PM - 17:00 PM
    6 - 16 years
    6/26/2021 2:00:00 PM 6/26/2021 5:00:00 PM

    It’s time for YOU to take control in the comedy show where anything can happen. Join the stars of ITV’s Britain’s Got Talent and BBC’s The One Show for an h...

    Brighton Open Air Theatre (BOAT)
    Dyke Road Park, Dyke Road BN3 6EH
  • Brighton

    ESTELLA

    30-Jun-2021 19:00 PM - 22:00 PM
    12 - 16 years
    6/30/2021 7:00:00 PM 6/30/2021 10:00:00 PM

    “I have been bent and broken, but – I hope – into a better shape.” Estella, Great Expectations

    Brighton Open Air Theatre (BOAT)
    Dyke Road Park, Dyke Road BN3 6EH
  • Brighton

    DON’T DRESS FOR DINNER

    01-Jul-2021 19:00 PM - 22:00 PM
    7 - 16 years
    7/1/2021 7:00:00 PM 7/1/2021 10:00:00 PM

    Bernard is hoping to entertain Suzy for the weekend whilst his wife, Jacqueline, is visiting her mother. He has invited his best friend, Robert, as a suitable alibi and a cordon bleu cook to furnish t...

    Brighton Open Air Theatre (BOAT)
    Dyke Road Park, Dyke Road BN3 6EH
  • Brighton

    AN AFTERNOON WITH JOE STILGOE

    04-Jul-2021 14:00 PM - 17:00 PM
    4 - 16 years
    7/4/2021 2:00:00 PM 7/4/2021 5:00:00 PM

    After two breathtaking sell-out shows in the summer of 2020, Joe Stilgoe is delighted to return to BOAT for a very special performance.

    Brighton Open Air Theatre (BOAT)
    Dyke Road Park, Dyke Road BN3 6EH
  • Brighton

    A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM

    07-Jul-2021 19:00 PM - 22:00 PM
    4 - 16 years
    7/7/2021 7:00:00 PM 7/7/2021 10:00:00 PM

    “The course of true love never did run smooth”

    Brighton Open Air Theatre (BOAT)
    Dyke Road Park, Dyke Road BN3 6EH
  • Brighton

    HORRIBLE HISTORIES LIVE: GORGEOUS GEORGIANS AND VILE VICTORIANS

    11-Jul-2021 11:00 AM - 13:00 PM
    5 - 16 years
    7/11/2021 11:00:00 AM 7/11/2021 1:00:00 PM

    We all want to meet people from history! The trouble is everyone is dead! 

    Brighton Open Air Theatre (BOAT)
    Dyke Road Park, Dyke Road BN3 6EH
  • Brighton

    ROMEO AND JULIET

    14-Jul-2021 14:00 PM - 17:00 PM
    6 - 16 years
    7/14/2021 2:00:00 PM 7/14/2021 5:00:00 PM

    Do you believe in love at first sight? Shakespeare’s star-crossed lovers dream of happy-ever-after in the face of bitter divisions and bloody consequences. This desperat...

    Brighton Open Air Theatre (BOAT)
    Dyke Road Park, Dyke Road, BN3 6EH
  • Brighton

    The Secret Garden

    18-Jul-2021 13:00 PM - 02:30 AM
    4 - 16 years
    7/18/2021 1:00:00 PM 7/18/2021 2:30:00 AM

    Join Mary on her journey to discovering The Secret Garden in this brand new, family-friendly, dance adaptation of the best-selling novel by Frances Hodgson Burnett.  

    Brighton Open Air Theatre (BOAT)
    Dyke Road Park, Dyke Road BN3 6EH
  • Brighton

    Dracula

    21-Jul-2021 19:00 PM - 22:00 PM
    12 - 16 years
    7/21/2021 7:00:00 PM 7/21/2021 10:00:00 PM

    Identity Theatre present this Victorian Gothic masterpiece with full respect for the original nightmare creation.

    Brighton Open Air Theatre (BOAT)
    Dyke Road Park, Dyke Road BN3 6EH
  • Brighton

    WONDERS WITH GRIMM

    25-Jul-2021 14:00 PM - 17:00 PM
    6 - 16 years
    7/25/2021 2:00:00 PM 7/25/2021 5:00:00 PM

    If you join Heartbreak in the woods today, you’re sure of a big surprise!

    Brighton Open Air Theatre (BOAT)
    Dyke Road Park, Dyke Road BN3 6EH
  • Brighton

    The Three Musketeers!

    28-Jul-2021 14:00 PM - 17:00 PM
    8 - 16 years
    7/28/2021 2:00:00 PM 7/28/2021 5:00:00 PM

    Immersion Theatre invite you on a swashbuckling adventure of epic proportions as they proudly present an action-packed adaptation of The Three Musketeers! 

    Brighton Open Air Theatre (BOAT)
    Dyke Road Park, Dyke Road BN3 6EH
  • Brighton

    HMS Pinafore

    29-Jul-2021 19:00 PM - 22:00 PM
    10 - 16 years
    7/29/2021 7:00:00 PM 7/29/2021 10:00:00 PM

    Set on board the warship HMS Pinafore, this opera cheerfully mocks such Great British institutions as Class, Patriotism and the Royal Navy.

    Brighton Open Air Theatre (BOAT)
    Dyke Road Park, Dyke Road BN3 6EH
  • Brighton

    THE COMEDY OF ERRORS

    30-Jul-2021 19:00 PM - 22:00 PM
    7 - 16 years
    7/30/2021 7:00:00 PM 7/30/2021 10:00:00 PM

    A servant and master from far off Syracuse arrive in Ephesus in search of their long-lost twin brothers.  In no time at all they are trapped in a terrifying chain of chaotic events. 

    Brighton Open Air Theatre (BOAT)
    Dyke Road Park, Dyke Road BN3 6EH
  • Brighton

    SHE STOOPS TO CONQUER

    01-Aug-2021 14:00 PM - 17:00 PM
    6 - 16 years
    8/1/2021 2:00:00 PM 8/1/2021 5:00:00 PM

    A reserved lover, it is said, always makes a suspicious husband.”

    Brighton Open Air Theatre (BOAT)
    Dyke Road Park, Dyke Road BN3 6EH
  • Brighton

    BEAUTY AND THE BEAST

    02-Aug-2021 14:00 PM - 17:00 PM
    4 - 16 years
    8/2/2021 2:00:00 PM 8/2/2021 5:00:00 PM

    Following their sell-out success with The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, IKP return with a brand new, “delightfully daft” (The Stage) retelling of the classic story Beauty and the Beast.

    Brighton Open Air Theatre (BOAT)
    Dyke Road Park, Dyke Road BN3 6EH
  • Brighton

    THE JUNGLE BOOK

    04-Aug-2021 14:00 PM - 17:00 PM
    4 - 16 years
    8/4/2021 2:00:00 PM 8/4/2021 5:00:00 PM

    Immersion Theatre are thrilled to bring their trademark energy to their wildest show yet, a brand–new musical adaptation of the Rudyard Kipling family favourite, The Jungle B...

    Brighton Open Air Theatre (BOAT)
    Dyke Road Park, Dyke Road BN3 6EH
  • Brighton

    A MOMENT

    05-Aug-2021 19:00 PM - 22:00 PM
    14 - 16 years
    8/5/2021 7:00:00 PM 8/5/2021 10:00:00 PM

    I used to be interested in clothes, clubs, buying records. And men. Now my life…what life?’

    Brighton Open Air Theatre (BOAT)
    Dyke Road Park, Dyke Road BN3 6EH
  • Brighton

    THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING EARNEST

    06-Aug-2021 14:00 PM - 17:00 PM
    10 - 16 years
    8/6/2021 2:00:00 PM 8/6/2021 5:00:00 PM

    Slapstick Picnic would like to cordially invite you to its inaugural summer tea party, where marvellous feats of performance and culinary capers await!

    Brighton Open Air Theatre (BOAT)
    Dyke Road Park, Dyke Road BN3 6EH
  • Brighton

    SING-A-LONG-A-DRAG QUEEN

    07-Aug-2021 14:00 PM - 17:00 PM
    2 - 16 years
    8/7/2021 2:00:00 PM 8/7/2021 5:00:00 PM

    Join Brighton’s bubbliest drag queen Misney for an all-singing outdoor drag experience, featuring your favourite Pride classics and LGBTQ+ anthems!

    Brighton Open Air Theatre (BOAT)
    Dyke Road Park, Dyke Road BN3 6EH
  • Brighton

    LITTLE RED AND THE BIG BAD WOLF

    08-Aug-2021 11:00 AM - 12:30 PM
    4 - 16 years
    8/8/2021 11:00:00 AM 8/8/2021 12:30:00 PM

    Little Red sets off through the forest to visit Grandma, but the journey won’t be easy, not with all these distractions…

    Brighton Open Air Theatre (BOAT)
    Dyke Road Park, Dyke Road BN3 6EH
  • Brighton

    The Twits

    11-Aug-2021 18:00 PM - 21:00 PM
    4 - 16 years
    8/11/2021 6:00:00 PM 8/11/2021 9:00:00 PM

    Roll up! Roll up! They’re shocking! They’re smelly! They’re stupefyingly stupid! Get ready to meet the despicable, Mr & Mrs Twit!

    Brighton Open Air Theatre (BOAT)
    Dyke Road Park, Dyke Road BN3 6EH
  • Brighton

    THE TALE OF PETER RABBIT AND BENJAMIN BUNNY

    15-Aug-2021 11:00 AM - 12:30 PM
    2 - 16 years
    8/15/2021 11:00:00 AM 8/15/2021 12:30:00 PM

    Peter Rabbit and his naughty cousin Benjamin know very well that they are not to go into Mr McGregor’s garden, but they cannot resist and soon they find themselves face to face with a snarl...

    Brighton Open Air Theatre (BOAT)
    Dyke Road Park, Dyke Road BN3 6EH
  • Brighton

    TREASURE ISLAND

    18-Aug-2021 14:00 PM - 17:00 PM
    4 - 16 years
    8/18/2021 2:00:00 PM 8/18/2021 5:00:00 PM

    Long John Silver and his crew of salty old sea dogs are weighing anchor across the UK this summer with the classic pirate tale Treasure Island. 

    Brighton Open Air Theatre (BOAT)
    Dyke Road Park, Dyke Road BN3 6EH
  • Brighton

    ANTIGONE

    19-Aug-2021 19:00 PM - 22:00 PM
    12 - 16 years
    8/19/2021 7:00:00 PM 8/19/2021 10:00:00 PM

    Presented in partnership with the Lighthouse in Poole and supported by Arts Council Lottery Funding, alongside #whatisyourantigonestory campaign.

    Brighton Open Air Theatre (BOAT)
    Dyke Road Park, Dyke Road BN3 6EH
  • Brighton

    AS YOU LIKE IT

    21-Aug-2021 14:00 PM - 17:00 PM
    Brighton Open Air Theatre (BOAT)
    7 - 16 years
    8/21/2021 2:00:00 PM 8/21/2021 5:00:00 PM

    “All the worlds a stage, & all the men & women merely players!” 

    AS YOU LIKE IT
    Dyke Road Park, Dyke Road BN3 6EH
  • Brighton

    Macbeth

    22-Aug-2021 12:15 PM - 15:00 PM
    5 - 16 years
    8/22/2021 12:15:00 PM 8/22/2021 3:00:00 PM

    The Young Actors Group returns for their annual youth production of a classic Shakespeare.

    Brighton Open Air Theatre (BOAT)
    Dyke Road Park, Dyke Road BN3 6EH
  • Brighton

    JANE EYRE

    26-Aug-2021 19:00 PM - 22:00 PM
    14 - 16 years
    8/26/2021 7:00:00 PM 8/26/2021 10:00:00 PM

    Charlotte Bronte’s masterpiece is brought vividly to life in this new stage adaptation. From the cruelty of Jane’s life as a child to the passions and mysterious secrets of her adult life,...

    Brighton Open Air Theatre (BOAT)
    Dyke Road Park, Dyke Road BN3 6EH
  • Brighton

    The Tempest

    28-Aug-2021 14:00 PM - 17:00 PM
    12 - 16 years
    8/28/2021 2:00:00 PM 8/28/2021 5:00:00 PM

    Prospero conjures a storm and torments the survivors of a shipwreck, including his treacherous brother, Antonio. Meanwhile, Prospero’s slave, Caliban, plots to rid himself of his master but is t...

    Brighton Open Air Theatre (BOAT)
    Dyke Road Park, Dyke Road BN3 6EH
  • Brighton

    THE SECRET GARDEN

    29-Aug-2021 14:00 PM - 17:00 PM
    Brighton Open Air Theatre (BOAT)
    6 - 16 years
    8/29/2021 2:00:00 PM 8/29/2021 5:00:00 PM

    If you look the right way, you can see that the whole world is a garden.”

    THE SECRET GARDEN
    Dyke Road Park, Dyke Road BN3 6EH
  • Brighton

    The Great Gatsby

    01-Sep-2021 19:00 PM - 22:00 PM
    9 - 16 years
    9/1/2021 7:00:00 PM 9/1/2021 10:00:00 PM

    Join Heartbreak Productions and the Nick Carraway quartet for an evening of jazz, prohibition style. Nick is not only the band leader but a top-notch storyteller, and when he’s in the mood, he c...

    Brighton Open Air Theatre (BOAT)
    Dyke Road Park, Dyke Road BN3 6EH
  • Brighton

    TERRY DEARY’S TWISTED TALES

    03-Sep-2021 19:00 PM - 21:30 PM
    8 - 16 years
    9/3/2021 7:00:00 PM 9/3/2021 9:30:00 PM

    A brand new original comedy by Terry Deary (author of Horrible Histories). Three actors perform over 100 roles in as many minutes of fact-based, fast-paced fun!  

    Brighton Open Air Theatre (BOAT)
    Dyke Road Park, Dyke Road BN3 6EH
  • Brighton

    GILBERT & SULLIVAN FESTIVAL

    04-Sep-2021 14:00 PM - 17:00 PM
    5 - 16 years
    9/4/2021 2:00:00 PM 9/4/2021 5:00:00 PM

    Opera Anywhere’s Gilbert & Sullivan Festival presents 4 classics; The Mikado, H.M.S. Pinafore, The Pirates of Penzance and Patience in one weekend.

    Brighton Open Air Theatre (BOAT)
    Dyke Road Park, Dyke Road BN3 6EH
  • Brighton

    JULIUS CAESAR

    08-Sep-2021 19:00 PM - 22:00 PM
    14 - 16 years
    9/8/2021 7:00:00 PM 9/8/2021 10:00:00 PM

    Cry havoc and let loose the dogs of war!’ 

    Brighton Open Air Theatre (BOAT)
    Dyke Road Park, Dyke Road BN3 6EH
  • Brighton

    THE HOUND OF THE BASKERVILLES

    12-Sep-2021 14:00 PM - 16:30 PM
    6 - 16 years
    9/12/2021 2:00:00 PM 9/12/2021 4:30:00 PM

    Following the death of Sir Charles Baskerville in mysterious circumstances, the family doctor James Mortimer comes to seek the help of world famous detective Sherlock Holmes and his trusty a...

    Brighton Open Air Theatre (BOAT)
    Dyke Road Park, Dyke Road BN3 6EH
  • Brighton

    RICHARD II

    15-Sep-2021 19:00 PM - 22:00 PM
    15 - 16 years
    9/15/2021 7:00:00 PM 9/15/2021 10:00:00 PM

    Picture this:

    Brighton Open Air Theatre (BOAT)
    Dyke Road Park, Dyke Road BN3 6EH
  • Brighton

    LEGENDS OF SWING

    19-Sep-2021 14:00 PM - 17:00 PM
    5 - 16 years
    9/19/2021 2:00:00 PM 9/19/2021 5:00:00 PM

    Join the Down for the Count Swing Orchestra for “one hellova celebration of vintage music” (TimeOut London) as they celebrate the Legends of Swing. 

    Brighton Open Air Theatre (BOAT)
    Dyke Road Park, Dyke Road BN3 6EH
  • Brighton

    Gladiator

    23-Sep-2021 19:00 PM - 22:00 PM
    15 - 16 years
    9/23/2021 7:00:00 PM 9/23/2021 10:00:00 PM

    Come for a night under the stars and relive the trials and tribulations of our favourite gladiator.

    Brighton Open Air Theatre (BOAT)
    Dyke Road Park, Dyke Road BN3 6EH
  • Brighton

    The Alter Eagles

    24-Sep-2021 19:00 PM - 22:00 PM
    Brighton Open Air Theatre (BOAT)
    12 - 16 years
    9/24/2021 7:00:00 PM 9/24/2021 10:00:00 PM

    Brighton’s very own The Alter Eagles return to BOAT, bringing their two-hour celebration of one of the greatest country rock bands of all time.

    The Alter Eagles
    Dyke Road Park, Dyke Road BN3 6EH
  • Brighton

    JEKYLL AND HYDE

    25-Sep-2021 14:00 PM - 17:00 PM
    8 - 16 years
    9/25/2021 2:00:00 PM 9/25/2021 5:00:00 PM

    A very sensible farce!

    Brighton Open Air Theatre (BOAT)
    Dyke Road Park, Dyke Road BN3 6EH
  • Brighton

    The Brighton Beach Boys

    26-Sep-2021 14:00 PM - 17:00 PM
    6 - 16 years
    9/26/2021 2:00:00 PM 9/26/2021 5:00:00 PM

    When the Brighton Beach Boys formed in 2001, it was through a love of the glorious harmonies created by Brian Wilson, and it soon became clear that many others shared the desire to hear thos...

    Brighton Open Air Theatre (BOAT)
    Dyke Road Park, Dyke Road BN3 6EH

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