Please check our COVID safety measures before booking or attending.

Planning Your Visit

20-30 July 2022 we will perform Great Expectations in the Abbey Ruins.

Ballroom scene from Great Expectations in the Abbey Ruins Chapter House


Venue opens at 6.45pm. 
The performance begins at 7.30pm, finishing in darkness at about 10.30pm.
There are two intervals of twenty minutes.


  • Toilets will be available on site.
  • In the case of rain, a shortened version may be presented.
  • There is a bar on the site, taking card payments only, provided by our friends at Rabble Theatre.

View Larger Map or View on Google Maps

Reading Abbey Ruins, Chestnut Walk, Abbey St, Reading RG1 3BA
Entrance at (what3words)

The only access is from Chestnut Walk - also known as the Oscar Wilde Memorial Walk - over the footbridge and across Kings Road if coming from Queens Road Car Park. If coming from the station, cross the Forbury Gardens, walk under the arch of the Abbey Gateway and turn left at the bottom of Abbey St. There will be no access from Forbury Gardens or Abbots Walk. 

What to Bring

An Open Air production is always a wonderful way to experience theatre - here are some tips to help you to have the best time possible:

  • Warm clothing – Because the production is in the open air, it can become quite cool by the end of the performance, even on hot July days. Just in case it gets a bit too chilly, bring a jumper or a blanket so you can wrap up warm if you need to...
  • Waterproofs – There's no roof, so there's just a chance there's a passing shower - not that that would ever happen in England of all places! - make sure you check the weather forecast and ensure you've got something to keep yourself dry if needed. Except in the back row, umbrellas are only allowed on your lap during the performances, so something with a hood would be perfect!
  • Seating –  There is fixed raked seating, except for the front row, which is reserved for wheelchair users and their companions. Unlike last year, there is no need to bring your own chair.


Don't bring

  • Bulky items that won't fit on your lap or under your seat.
  • Folding chairs - seating is provided this year


Please leave the venue quietly

so as not to disturb nearby residents and take any rubbish with you. 

Disabled access

There is no parking nearby, so disabled patrons can be dropped off/collected in Abbey Street to gain access to Chestnut Walk, where the main entrance gate is situated. 

The Abbey Ruins are accessible for wheelchair users and those with mobility issues via a footpath. Please note there is step-free access but no handrail. There are steps to row B and above.

There are parking bays for blue badge holders in the town centre, including two on Blagrave Street directly outside the Reading Museum and four on the Forbury Road (please be aware that these are often in use).  



By car

Follow signs to Reading Town Centre or Reading Station.


On-street parking close to the Abbey Quarters is metered and very limited, so we recommend using the public car parks at Queens Road (the closest), The Oracle, Kings Meadow or Hills Meadow (across Reading Bridge). It will then be a short walk to Reading Abbey Ruins. List of car parks

By train

Take any train to Reading. Exit the station on the town side, not the Caversham side. Turn right along Forbury Road as you exit the station. The Abbey Ruins is a five-minute walk from the station; cross the Forbury Gardens, walk under the arch of the Abbey Gateway and turn left at the bottom of Abbey St.

By bus

Take any bus to the town centre - the nearest stops are Reading Library on Kings Road, Blagrave Street, Market Place and Reading Station on Forbury Road. For more information, please visit the Reading Buses website. 

Book Tickets

Pre-show Dinner
 Not available Thursday 12
 or Monday 16 July


When you book tickets you can book a pre-show dinner with Forbury's Restaurant.

2 Course £17.95 (£5.50 extra for dessert) / 3 course £21.95 (including dessert), excluding booking fee and service charge.Download menu. 
Not available Thursday 12 or Monday 16 July

Forbury's, One Forbury Square, Reading, RG1 3BB

Forbury’s Square is within a few minutes walking distance from Reading train station and The Oracle shopping centre. Tel:  0118 957 4044

By Car to Forbury's

Approach from Kings Road and take the turning opposite Zizzi’s Restaurant into Abbey Street. Follow the road around to the left until you see Soane Point, then turn right. Forbury’s car park is under Davidson House.

Car parking free for pre-booked dinner/theatre tickets

Sat Nav: navigate to RG1 3BJ