about GTF


The Garden Theatre Festival is Bath’s only purpose-built open-air theatre festival, running from the 21st of July – the 7th of August 2023.

Taking place in the magical gardens of the Holburne Museum, expect two weeks of superb performances from nationally renowned companies, in our beautiful, open-air thrust stage space, with something for all of the family to enjoy.

And there is so much more to enjoy aside from the performances. Tickets include time to relax in the Holburne’s beautiful gardens after evening performances – enjoying the space is all part of the GTF Experience!

At the Garden Theatre Festival, you bring your own blankets, cushions and camping chairs. Bring along your packed picnic, grab a drink from the bar and discover the best outdoor theatre the UK has to offer.

Premier ticket holders receive even more benefits and can access the Holburne thirty minutes before main doors, alongside enjoying prosecco, or soft drinks, and luxury nibbles included in the ticket price.


The Journey of the Garden Theatre Festival is now becoming a rather large story. Here’s the brief version:

Summer of 2020, restrictions for outdoor events were lifted! Kerry Irvine and I spent many long Zoom calls seeing how we could bring theatre back to Bath. Then Spencer Hancock at the Holburne Museum got in touch to say we could use the garden! We booked our good friend The Three Inch Fools and hosted Baths’ only night of theatre that summer.

2021, I booked 7 nights at The Holburne, and The Garden Theatre Festival was born. Selling out every evening, and establishing Baths only outdoor theatre space.

2022 Josh Beaumont (executive director) and I set out to create Bath’s largest open-air theatre in the city. In July 2022 we opened the newly branded GTF, with a marketing team, our big blue box office, a tech team, a bar and the biggest acts and audiences we have ever hosted. We even had a launch party! With the world’s most expensive falafel…. Free for our guests, eye-watering for us.

Now we return in 2023 with a cracking program of theatre that we know our audiences with love. We have fine-tuned the festival experience to ensure our guests have the greatest time possible. This year you will enter a freshly designed theatre that is sealed off from the rest of the world. Allowing you to have a truly unique experience.

But this would not be possible without the initial support of Kerry Irvine, Bath Spa Productions, Zenith Youth Theatre, Producer Works, my family and friends, my wonderful fiancé, the power that is Josh Beaumount, our local press, our team, our champions, sponsors, partners and you! Our wonderful audiences. 

I look forward to welcoming you to our beautiful festival this year. You may see me in the box office, by the bar, and onstage for our inhouse production of The Jabberwocky & Other Nonsense. Come say hi!

Here’s to a very exciting summer of theatre!

Matthew Emeny (Artistic Director)