AN OUTDOOR theatre which has welcomed more than 4,500 people during the Covid-19 pandemic is turning towards comedy.

Last year, Tim Ashton from Soulton Hall established the 'sanctuary theatre' to allow outdoor performances to go ahead.

Since opening the outdoor theatre dozens of shows have taken place, including Treasure Island and Relatively Speaking, as well as musical performances from The Diablos.

Recently the hall hosted a performance of Animal Farm by the National Youth Theatre's REP Company.

Tim is branching out in the coming weeks to include comedy into his performance roster, to build on the thousands of views his shows have already received.

"It's the first time we've done live comedy," said Tim.

"Obviously that will be something fun and different."

"Treasure Island was fun, and we had Romeo and Juliette last weekend which was popular.

Since the start of the pandemic, 4,500 have watched the plays."

Tim says the recent visit of the National Youth Theatre was one of the 'best' performances held at the Sanctuary Theatre.

"Obviously the National Youth Theatre are national, they've had five-star reviews in the press and they were probably one of the best performances since everything went weird.

"Coming up we have some live music as well, with the Surfing Llamas and the Sounds of Simon, Simon and Garfunkel tribute band, which will be fun."

To purchase tickets for the upcoming shows, visit