Shakespeare's Best Bits Shakespeare Under the Stars Shakespeare in the Gardens

THIS EVENINGS PERFORMANCE - Thursday 10th of March - has been cancelled due to wet weather. Please see our inclement weather policy for more information.

Where: Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne, Southern Cross Lawn. Enter via the Observatory Gate. Click here for a map.


"Opportunities to see comedy of this calibre are all too few and far between." Theatre Alive

"Glenn Elston's production transports its audience on a whirlwind tour through Shakespeare's canon of work -The actors are akin to Laurel and Hardy in their humour, timing and pace they have impeccable comedic presence."  Theatre Alive

The six tradesmen and amateur thespians (called the Mechanicals) from "A Midsummer Night's Dream" come together to rehearse the play for Duke Theseus's wedding written and directed by their Leader, Peter Quince the Carpenter. It is at this first rehearsal that they inform Peter that they have found another writer and want to explore his plays. They convince Peter to return to the stage and together they pursue  a series of fast and furious renderings of the Bard's best bits.

"Pantaloon- meets-Python slapstick, song, dance and parodies LOADS OF FUN." The Age

This summer Glenn Elston's brilliantly funny new adaptation of A Midsummer Night's Dream will have you in stitches! This is sure to make for an enjoyable night out for the holidays as the splendor of Shakespeare Under The Stars comes to life with this inventive comedy.

Tickets can be purchased online, over the phone (03 8676 7511) or at the on-site box office from 2 hours prior to the show. Online sales close 90 minutes prior to the show opening, but don't worry! You will be able to purchase tickets at the on-site box office!

See here for a short video of 'Shakespeare's Best Bits' when we last performed it in the Royal Botanic Gardens, Melbourne. Please note, last time the show was called 'Shakespeare's Greatest Hits', the show has since had a facelift, the costumes have had a wash and the name has been changed to a snappy 'Best Bits' to celebrate the 400 years since Shakespeare's death... tad awkward to celebrate that, but any excuse for a good night out suits us! So join us for Shakespeare's Best Bits in the Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne!


Ticket Type

Ticket Price

Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Sunday

Adult $40
Concession $35
Child (15 years and under) $25
Group Bookings (10+ People) $35

Friday, Saturday and NYE

Adult $50  
Concession* $45
Child (15 years and under) $25
Group Booking (10+ People) $45

*Concession tickets are available to: Full Time Students, Aged Pensioners & Commonwealth Health Care Card Holders. Seniors Cards are not accepted as valid concession for this event.

Gift Vouchers - just call (03) 8676 7511 to purchase a gift voucher or click here to purchase online

Where: Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne, Southern Cross Lawn. Enter via the Observatory Gate. Click here for a map.

Box office opens two hours prior to the performance start time.

Candy Bar : Don't worry if you don't have time to pack your own picnic! We have lots of treats on site for you to purchase and enjoy. The Candy bar includes wine, beer, spirits, soft drink, chocolate, chips, lollies, hot chocolate, tea and coffee.

Italian Menu: You can order from an extensive Italian Menu and have your pasta or pizza delivered to your picnic rug right before the show begins! Food can be ordered online or up to 7:10pm on the night of the performance. Click here to see what is on the menu!

Chair Hire: Chairs can be hired on site for $5. High chairs (a standard garden chair) and low chairs (which seat you directly on the ground - perfect for picnicing) are available on site. These chairs can sell out, so we recommend arriving a little bit early to secure one for yourself!

Can I bring my own chairs?: You certainly can! Bring chairs, picnic rugs, bean bags, blankets and whatever else you like. We just ask that those with tall chairs sit behind a rope that we set up so that you don't obstruct anyone's view of the performance.

Can I bring my own food a drink?: Yes! You can bring your own picnic full of whatever goodies you like. We also have a candy bar on site, so don't worry if you forget to bring something, we will be able to sort you out.

Running Time: The show begins at 8pm and will finish by 10.30pm. This includes a 20 minute interval.

Click here for our FAQ

Inclement Weather Policy


Shakespeare's Best Bits offers students an exciting and accessible experience of Shakespeare's works. Over the course of 2 hours, ten of Shakespeare's works are adapted by the Mechanical Characters from a Midsummer Night's Dream.

It showcases a variety of theatrical styles, unique stage craft and Shakespeare's language and plays. Above all, it makes Shakespeare fun, fast and exciting - the way it is meant to be! A Teacher's Kit will also be made available to school group. Students tickets are $25 each and a complimentary adult ticket is aailable for every 10 students. To make a school group booking please email

The reviews are in!

"With fine comic timing and delivery, hilarious characters, witty dialogue and direct engagement with the delighted audience, the cast of six rollicks through parodies of a parade of Shakespeare's works...You don't need to know all the Bard's plays to enjoy Shakespeare's Best Bits because it a comic romp performed by a talented cast of actors who inject the tragedies with hilarity and stupidity." - Herald Sun

"It's Shakespeare in the Park time again, and if you have never attended this annual iconic event, and you're not much of a Shakespeare fan, then this is the perfect production for you. Glenn Elston has created an extremely funny show. This year the cast is, without exception, quite marvellous, highly experienced and with brilliant comic timing.I defy you not to end up feeling seriously sick from laughing. It's a stroke of genius and should make a reappearance at the MICF" - Stage Whispers

Elston's witty writing makes it a thoroughly enjoyable evening of entertainment just as the Bard would have intended! In short, the show is fast and furiously fun. Nonstop humourous puns and physical enactments still allowed for moments of light and shade comic variance to shine through....if slapstick belly laughs and clever antics are your thing then make sure you don't miss it" - Theatre People


Performance Dates

Monday, 29-Feb-16 , No Performance
Tuesday, 1-Mar-16  - 8pm Performances at the Royal Botanic Gardens VIC
Wednesday, 2-Mar-16  - 8pm Performances at the Royal Botanic Gardens VIC
Thursday, 3-Mar-16  - 8pm Performances at the Royal Botanic Gardens VIC
Friday, 4-Mar-16  - 8pm Performances at the Royal Botanic Gardens VIC
Saturday, 5-Mar-16  - 8pm Performances at the Royal Botanic Gardens VIC
Sunday, 6-Mar-16 , No Performance

Monday, 7-Mar-16 , No Performance
Tuesday, 8-Mar-16  - 8pm Performances at the Royal Botanic Gardens VIC
Wednesday, 9-Mar-16  - 8pm Performances at the Royal Botanic Gardens VIC
Thursday, 10-Mar-16  - 8pm Performances at the Royal Botanic Gardens VIC
Friday, 11-Mar-16  - 8pm Performances at the Royal Botanic Gardens VIC
Saturday, 12-Mar-16  - 8pm Performances at the Royal Botanic Gardens VIC
Sunday, 13-Mar-16 , No Performance

Monday, 14-Mar-16 , No Performance
Tuesday, 15-Mar-16 , No Performance
Wednesday, 16-Mar-16  WARRAGAL Performance

Upcoming Events

Latest News

Casting Call for 2016/2017 Summer

Sep 18 2016
We are having general auditions for different projects during the 2015/2016 Summer Season and beyond. The creative team will be casting our Shakespeare "Under The Stars" and Children productions. Submission Process Please send a email to: with: Performance CV. Show Reel if a...

Australian Shakespeare Company
Level 3, 188 Collins Street
Melbourne VIC 3000

P : 03 8676 7511
F : 03 8676 7512
ABN : 19 006 105 102

E :

Book Tickets : 03 8676 7511
(Mon-Fri, except public holidays)