Pride and Prejudice (2013)
The Sound of Music (2013)
Artistic director Timothy Sheader and executive director William Village
London's most beautiful theatre lies tucked away in the middle of Regent's Park
Founded in 1932, central London's most beautiful and secluded theatre is surrounded by Regent's Park on every side and is completely uncovered – so consequently open only between May and September each year.
Though its twinkling, manicured prettiness makes Regent's Park Open Air Theatre resemble something out of 'A Midsummer Night's Dream', the volume of Shakespeare performed on its stage has dwindled from almost exclusively to fairly sporadically under long-serving artistic director Timothy Sheader. His seasons generally start with a gritty opener, have a populist classic in the middle, then climax with one of the big musicals that he's made his name with. Around that there's acoustic gigs, comedy and usually some kids' theatre.
Ticket prices are comparable to the West End, though the sightlines are good at most prices. There are cheap tickets available for younger audiences (including the BREEZE membership scheme, which offers £10 tickets for 18-25-year-olds), and concessions can buy £20 standby tickets prior to the day's performance (from 5pm for evenings and noon matinees).
Having no roof, rain does sometimes lead to performance cancellations: if this happens you can exchange your ticket for a future performance, but no refund is permitted.
The Regent's Park Open Air Theatre has plenty of food options, from a barbecue to picnic hampers, and the bar is the longest in any London theatre.
If you're interested in theatre history, the Open Air Theatre's archives are available to view online at openairtheatreheritage.com and contain images galore of former company members include Benedict Cuberbatch, Judi Dench and Ralf Fiennes.
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