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Open-air theatre in London

The best open-air and outdoor theatre shows in London this summer

GDIF, Mimbre, 2019
© Ben Hopper
By Time Out London Theatre |
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The sun many or may not be out this summer, but London's iconic outdoor stages will be open come rain or shine once the season begins. The outdoor season kicks off in April at Shakespeare's Globe, followed by the gorgeous  Regent's Park Opens Air Theatre, which begins its season in May. Plus there are sundry other vibrant events, including the annual street theatre blowourt of the Greenwich and Docklands International Festival. Not sure what you'll need for an open-air theatre trip? Then don't miss our guide to practical open-air theatre info

This month

Theatre, Shakespeare

Henry IV Part 1, or Hotspur

icon-location-pin Shakespeare's Globe, South Bank
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Globe boss Michelle Terry is kicking off her new season with a return for one of Shakespeare's best-known history plays, 'Henry IV'…

Theatre, Shakespeare

Henry IV Part 2, or Falstaff

icon-location-pin Shakespeare's Globe, South Bank
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The second instalment of Globe boss Michelle Terry's take on one of Shakespeare's best-known history plays, 'Henry IV', centres on Falstaff…

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Theatre, Shakespeare

Henry V, or Harry England

icon-location-pin Shakespeare's Globe, South Bank
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Shakespeare's Globe is capping off its trilogy of Harry-centric plays with 'Henry V', the story of what happens when he finally becomes king…

Coming soon

Things to do, Festivals

Covent Garden May Fayre and Puppet Festival

icon-location-pin Covent Garden Piazza, Covent Garden
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The annual Covent Garden May Fayre & Puppet Festival (which celebrates its 44th anniversary in 2019), brings together Punch and Judy professors from around the country for a day of jolly old-fashioned fun…

Theatre, Outdoor theatres

Our Town

icon-location-pin Regent's Park Open Air Theatre, Regent's Park
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Thornton Wilder’s Pulitzer-winning 1938 classic ‘Our Town’ is much better known in the US, where it is virtually ubiquitous, than over here, where it is not…

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Theatre, Shakespeare

The Merry Wives of Windsor

icon-location-pin Shakespeare's Globe, South Bank
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The Globe complements its big summer run of ‘Henry IV’ with an outing for the other play featuring dissolute knight Sir John Falstaff. ‘The Merry Wives of Windsor’ is a very silly comedy in which the venal nobleman attempts to woo some wealthy ladies for their purses, only to have the tables turned on him…

Music, Classical and opera

Hansel and Gretel

icon-location-pin Regent's Park Open Air Theatre, Regent's Park
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The ENO and Open Air Theatre’s collaboration enters its second year with a team up for Engelbert Humperdinck’s much-loved 1893 operatic adaptation of the popular fairly tale. OAT boss Timoth Sheader directs. 

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Theatre, Shakespeare

Hamlet

icon-location-pin St Paul's Church, Covent Garden, Covent Garden
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Promenade theatre specialists Iris Theatre celebrate their tenth summer performing in and around the grounds of the Actors’ Church in Covent Garden by tackling the big one: a production of William Shakespeare’s almighty existential thriller, ‘Hamlet’…

Theatre, Musicals

West End Live

icon-location-pin Trafalgar Square, Trafalgar Square
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Musical theatre fans, get ready for outdoor dancing and sing-a-longs with some of the West End's biggest stars: West End Live is back on Saturday 22nd-Sunday 23rd June, 2019…

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As You Like It, Shakespeare in the Square 2018
© James Millar
Theatre, Shakespeare

A Midsummer Night’s Dream

icon-location-pin Various, London
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Staggeringly, there will now be FOUR major productions of ‘A Midsummer Night's Dream’ in London this summer: three in theatres, and this one from Shakespeare in the Squares…

Theatre, Shakespeare

A Midsummer Night’s Dream

icon-location-pin Shakespeare's Globe, South Bank
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This really is the summer of ‘A Misummer Night’s Dream’ – the Bridge and Open Air Theatre have major productions, and here’s the Globe’s latest take, which comes just three years after Emma Rice’s magnificent version…

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Theatre, Shakespeare

A Midsummer Night’s Dream

icon-location-pin Regent's Park Open Air Theatre, Regent's Park
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Staging ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ inside the twinkly fastness of the Open Air Theatre almost seems to obvious. In fact, last time Shakespeare’s beloved comedy was staged here, in 2012 the whole thing was given a brutal post-industrial staging…

Theatre, Outdoor theatres

Evita

icon-location-pin Regent's Park Open Air Theatre, Regent's Park
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In a big year for the back catalogue of Andrew Lloyd Webber, this looks set to be the most exciting entry: Jamie Lloyd follows up his marathon Pinter at the Pinter project by giving Lloyd Webber’s epic about Argentinean leader Eva Peron its first new London production in over a decade…

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More to explore

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