Outdoor Theatre | The Leura Shakespeare Festival

Festival information

January 12, 2019 to January 27, 2019


When a famous leader of nations is forced to recognise he is no more than a frail human being like everyone else, he implores the people around him to help him understand what the story of living is worth, and what it means to die - “let us sit upon the ground and tell sad stories of the death of kings…”, Richard II asks his friends. We ask you to do the same this summer. To sit upon the ground in one of Sydney’s most beautiful outdoor theatres, to tell stories, to revel in poetry, to think as a community about what nationhood and leadership mean, and to bear witness to how Richard II’s deposition, the first formal party room meeting to spill an English king, sets in motion an extraordinary ricochet of political fractures that William Shakespeare turned into the greatest study of leadership, human competition and ambition ever penned.

This summer Sport for Jove celebrates ten incredible years of theatre-making, ten summers of thrilling and surprising outdoor theatre, with our most immersive and ambitious season yet: Shakespeare’s Rose Riot.

Rose Riot is Artistic Director Damien Ryan’s furious new adaptation of Shakespeare’s extraordinary history cycle, covering a hundred years of riotous humanity and a pantheon of the earth’s most remarkable political thinkers and drinkers, warriors and clowns, villains, heroines and despots. A thrilling, hilarious, frightening and humane journey from Richard II to Henry IV, Harry and Kate Percy, Falstaff and Henry V, Joan of Arc, Henry VI, the Queens Margaret and Elizabeth, Richard Plantagenet, the Lady Anne and her lover ‘misshapen Dick’. And of course, Jack Cade, history’s most unlikely politician whose major policy platform still resonates today…”LET’S KILL ALL THE LAWYERS!”

The Hollow Crown (Richard II, Henry IV, Henry V) and The Wars of the Roses (Henry VI, Richard III) will be presented as two distinct but linked productions. Audiences can enjoy either show as a stand-alone production or experience full the cycle by seeing both in one day.


The Hollow Crown

Adaptor & Director Damien Ryan

Leura Everglades Gardens

Jan 12th, 18th, 25th (@6.30pm); 20th, 26th and 27th (@2pm)


Adult $42, Concession $32, Family bundle (2 Adult, 2 Concession) $120, Children 9 and under are free.

Come once or come see both shows and get an extra 20% discount off tickets on the second show.

The Wars of the Roses

Adaptor & Director Damien Ryan

Leura Everglades Gardens

Jan 13th, 19th, 20th 26th, 27th (@6.30pm)


Adult $42, Concession $32, Family bundle (2 Adult, 2 Concession) $120, Children 9 and under are free.

Come once or come see both shows and get an extra 20% discount off tickets on the second show.

The work of a young Shakespeare, the history cycle is a wild, bold, daring, dangerous feat of storytelling and is among his most illuminating and prescient creations. It is extravagant, violent, funny, fierce and very moving. It could be described as history’s greatest leadership spills. This is riotous summer entertainment at its best. Summer is coming!


Adaptor & Director Damien Ryan

Set Designer Anna Gardiner & Damien Ryan

Costume Designer Anna Gardiner

Sound Design Ryan Patrick Devlin

Assistant Director Francesca Savige



Alan Faulkner, Chantelle Jamieson, Terry Karabelas, Bronwyn Lim, Drew Livingston, James Lugton, Damon Manns, Abe Mitchell, Emma Palmer, Adele Querol, Bernadette Ryan, Francesca Savige, Lizzie Schebesta, Berynn Schwerdt, Brittanie Shipway, Christopher Stalley, Wendy Strehlow, Christopher Tomkinson, Tim Walter & Eloise Winestock



Please note...

The Leura Shakespeare Festival event is an open-air and all weather event. The performance area and audience seating is completely uncovered. The event is an all-weather experience, and Sport For Jove Theatre Company is committed to going ahead with a performance even in unfavourable weather conditions, unless there is a concern for the general safety of the actors and audience by attending the show. The decision to move a performance indoors can be made up until 30 minutes before the show begins and a cancellation may also be called during the performance. A show is considered to be performed once 60% of it has been staged and it will not be moved indoors if conditions require the remaining portion of the performance outdoors to be cancelled.

Shows need to proceed as scheduled outdoors or indoors as to secure the financial viability of the festival. Festival shows that are moved indoors in 2017 will be relocated to the Wentworth Falls School of Arts location at 217 Great Western Hwy, Wentworth Falls NSW 2782. To accommodate the size of this venue, only a limit of 200 tickets for all outdoor shows will be made available for each performance. For shows that proceed outdoors as scheduled, an additional 30 tickets will be made available for sale on a first come first served basis starting 1 hour before show time.

Full terms and conditions are available HERE.


ROSE RIOT - The Hollow Crown

“let us sit upon the ground and tell sad stories of the death of kings…” Richard II

The Hollow Crown spans the reign of the lavish and wasteful Richard II, torn from his perch by the brilliant and persuasive tongue of a true political animal, Henry IV, a thief who steals a crown and cannot sleep with guilt as her bedfellow, while her famous daughter has an equally uncomfortable bedfellow, another thief, Falstaff, Shakespeare’s greatest comic creation. She will cloud and pollute the rise of England’s most famous ‘sun’ – Henry V, the cracked mirror to the gallant Hotspur who

ROSE RIOT - The Wars of the Roses

“Glory is like a circle in the water…” Joan of Arc

Shakespeare’s Wars of the Roses, the inspiration for television’s Game of Thrones, is all about glory – its splendour and its terrible price. The red rose of Lancaster and the white rose of York seek to strangle each other in an epic, 30-year cycle of violence, romance, political manoeuvring, popular uprising and deep prophecy until the unweeded garden of the realm yields a new flower – the Tudor Rose – the white dyed in the heartblood of the red, the red turned pale with fear of the white.

Venues / FAQ’s


The Leura Shakespeare Festival is an annual theatre festival staged by SfJ in partnership with the National Trust of Australia (NSW).

The festival is centred around SfJ’s repertory season at the sublime Everglades Gardens, Leura. Since launching in 2010 with A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Romeo & Juliet, SfJ has presented performances of As You Like It, The Taming of the Shrew & Macbeth among many others.