The lovely island of Brownsea in Poole Harbour is owned by the National Trust and accessible only by boat. Every year, in July and August, this peaceful outcrop of woodland, heath and marsh is the setting for an open-air staging of one of Shakespeare's works.
Tickets for the theatre include the cost of the boat-ride. Many people choose to arrive in the afternoon, and take the opportunity to explore the island or picnic before the show, while the return ferry ride under the stars forms the perfect finale to the whole experience.
There have been performances at Brownsea since 1964, the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare's birth. Last season, Brownsea Open Air Theatre celebrated their 44th season with a production of Julius Caesar.
2013 sees Brownsea Open Air Theatre (BOAT) celebrating its 50th season of Shakespeare on Brownsea Island by presenting two plays in July and August.
A registered charity, BOAT has recently handed over substantial cheques to The National Trust, the Dorset Wildlife Trust and other beneficiaries from the proceeds of this summer's production of Love's Labour's Lost.
In 2013 audiences will be able to enjoy performances of A Midsummer Night's Dream, from July 24 to August 2 and then have the opportunity to see the less familiar romantic adventure, Pericles, from August 7 to 16.