EXPECT irreverence, mayhem and bicycles from three troupes of strolling players coming to both Montacute House and Barrington Court this summer.

The Handlebards, the Three Inch Fools and the Pantaloons will be turning their energetic eye on two of our national literary treasures: Shakespeare and Jane Austen. This is theatre to convert the most diehard hater of the classics – bring children, bring reluctant teenagers and bring grandparents for an open air evening of mischievous laughter and perhaps a few tears.

This is The West Country:

On June 25, Montacute will be visited by magic and music as the Handlebards – but this time their all-female troupe – visit with The Tempest.

On July 12, Montacute welcomes back The Pantaloons for a fast-paced version of Jane Austen’s Sense and Sensibility, a novel of scandals, scoundrels and severely sprained ankles.

On August 16, the action moves to Barrington Court for another performance of Much Ado About Nothing – but this time from the musically motivated Three Inch Fools.

Performances start at 7pm. To book visit www.nationaltrust.org.uk/montacute-house or www.nationaltrust.org.uk/barrington-court.

This is The West Country: