The Three Inch Fools take to North Yorkshire outdoors with The Secret Diary Of Henry VIII and The Comedy Of Errors

Four go into three: Cast members James Aldred, Peter Long, Lucy Chamberlain and Charlotte Horner of The Three Inch Fools

OPEN-AIR theatre specialists The Three Inch Fools will head to Scampston Hall, Scampston, near Malton, on July 20 with their rowdy reimagining of the story of a troublesome Tudor king, The Secret Diary Of Henry VIII.

Further North Yorkshire performances will follow at Merchant Adventurers’ Hall, York, on July 23, and Helmsley Walled Garden on August 6.

Founded in Cumbria in 2015 by the Hyde brothers, producer James and writer, composer and director Stephen, the company combines fast-paced storytelling with uproarious music-making as their modus operandi for their contemporary spin on the traditional touring troupe.

The Secret Diary finds a young Henry VIII attempting to navigate his way through courtly life on a tour that will visit heritage sites with Tudor links to transport audiences back in time, albeit with a different take on history than the one told by the great houses.

Stephen Hyde’s new work provides an “essential guide” to how to keep your head in the Tudor Court when unexpectedly thrust into the limelight, as Henry navigates the ups and downs of courtly life, all while fighting the French (again) and re-writing religious law. Cue a madcap take on Britain’s most epic monarch and those infamous wives.

Operating from their rehearsal residency at the National Trust property of Eastbury Manor House in Banbury, the Fools are touring 80 venues this summer with two shows, the second being their innovative twist on Shakespeare’s shortest, wildest farce, The Comedy Of Errors, with its tale of long-lost twins, misunderstandings and messy mishaps.

Directed by The Play That Goes Wrong’s Sean Turner, The Comedy Of Errors will play Helmsley Walled Garden on July 19.

In the Three Inch Fools cast will be James Aldred, Lucy Chamberlain, Charlotte Horner and Pete Long, while the production team includes fight director and choreographer Marcello Marascalchi, movement director Claire Parry and costume & props designer Aoife Hills.

The Three Inch Fools in The Secret Diary Of Henry VIII, Scampston Hall & Walled Gardens, Scampston, near Malton, July 20; Merchant Adventurers’ Hall, York, July 23, and Helmsley Arts Centre, August 6, all at 7pm. The Comedy Of Errors, Helmsley Walled Garden, July 19, 7pm. Gates open at 6pm. Age guidance: 6+. Box office: