Two performers stand outside in the woods together closely, surrounded by pink and blue smoke, holding flaming torches
Photograph by Holly Revell
Past Event


9 performances between Sat 13 - Sun 21 May 2023
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A tale of queer love and acceptance - early modern theatre’s best kept secret

"Wildworks draw on myth, ritual and landscape to make spectacular outdoor theatre." The Guardian

"Emma Frankland is the punk rock angel of your dreams and nightmares..." The Stage

Set in a world where gods walk among the mortals, this unapologetically queer story follows different characters - all lost in the woods. 

Two young trans people find love whilst escaping oppression; a shipwrecked migrant searches for his family; goddesses clash; parents fret; an alchemist brews magic and a teenage Cupid sets hearts on fire - causing chaos and near disaster. And all the while, time is running out! 

Galatea was written in the 1580s by John Lyly, William Shakespeare’s best-selling but now long-forgotten contemporary, inspiring Shakespeare’s comedies from As You Like It to A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Performed in front of Queen Elizabeth I over four hundred years ago, this tale of love, joy and the importance of welcoming outsiders is an incredibly resonant story for modern times. 

Commissioned by Brighton Festival for its World Premiere, this ambitious outdoor production is a major collaboration between award-winning queer theatre maker, Emma Frankland; LGBTQIA+ culture catalysts, Marlborough Productions; acclaimed Cornish landscape theatre company, Wildworks; and leading theatre historian, Andy Kesson. 

Newly adapted by Emma Frankland and Subira Joy, edited by Andy Kesson with BSL translation support by Duffy - Galatea will be performed by a large company in spoken English and British Sign Language. 

Dynamic and genre-defying - you’re not going to want to miss this radical revival of early-modern theatre’s best-kept secret. 


Doors 7pm

Prologue 7.45pm

Show start: 8pm


Please note: The Galatea site is open from 7pm, with food & drink outlets open throughout the performance – please arrive anytime from 7pm and enjoy the pre-show entertainment. 

Limited, free on-site parking is available. Audiences will be seated on the ground and they are encouraged to bring their own picnic blankets/cushions or small portable chairs for comfort. Limited bench seating is available on a first-come-first-served basis.


Like to learn more about Galatea? Follow the links below to dive deeper...

The Guardian: ‘Explicitly queer and trans’: the 1580s play that inspired Shakespeare’s cross-dressing love plots

BBC Radio 3: Galatea and Shakespeare

Audio Brochure Event Listing


Supported by Arts Council England, Arts & Humanities Research Council, Attenborough Centre for the Creative Arts, Hall for Cornwall, 101 Creation Space, Jerwood Arts, National Theatre's Generate programme, TIDE and Box Office Bears.


Galatea by John Lyly. Newly adapted by Emma Frankland & Subira Joy. Co-produced by Emma Frankland, Marlborough Productions, Wildworks and Andy Kesson.