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Open-air theatre in London

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

Henry IV, Part 1, Shakespeare's Globe 2019
© Tristram Kenton Michelle Terry (Hotspur)
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

Henry IV, Part 1, Shakespeare's Globe 2019
© Tristram Kenton
Theatre, Shakespeare

Henry IV Part 1, or Hotspur

icon-location-pin Shakespeare's Globe, South Bank
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Michelle Terry leads the return of her Globe Ensemble from the front: the actor-artistic director’s all-guns-blazing take on rebel lord Henry ‘Hotspur’ Percy is the clear highlight of her rep company’s second season…

Time Out says
Henry IV Part 2, Shakespeare's Globe, 2019
© Tristram Kenton
Theatre, Shakespeare

Henry IV Part 2, or Falstaff

icon-location-pin Shakespeare's Globe, South Bank
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Oh dear. If ‘Henry IV Part 1’ felt like vindication for the Globe Ensemble rep company, then ‘Henry IV Part 2’… well, it’s just not very good…

Time Out says
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Henry V, Shakespeare's Globe, 2019
Sarah Amankwah (Henry V)
Theatre, Shakespeare

Henry V, or Harry England

icon-location-pin Shakespeare's Globe, South Bank
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Sarah Amankwah is too reserved to convince as a party-loving young Prince Hal in the Globe’s ‘Henry IV Parts 1 and 2’. But this is her moment…

Time Out says

Coming soon

Theatre, Shakespeare

The Merry Wives of Windsor

icon-location-pin Shakespeare's Globe, South Bank
icon-calendar

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…

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’…

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'Moby Dick' plays Greenwich Fair, part of GDIF 2019
© Chiara Ferrin
Theatre

Greenwich and Docklands International Festival

Head East for a hubbub of free outdoor shows this summer, made by circus, puppetry and theatre companies from across Europe. GDIF's 2019 line-up includes mini-festivals 'Dancing City', a riverside showcase for contemporary choreographers, and 'Greenwich Fair', which is full of shows and hands-on installations for families.

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…

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Theatre, Shakespeare

A Midsummer Night’s Dream

icon-location-pin Shakespeare's Globe, South Bank
icon-calendar

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…

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…

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Things to do

Whippersnappers Fairyland

icon-location-pin Dulwich Park, Dulwich
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Dulwich Park’s Keepers Lodge will be transformed into a magical land of myth this summer. Kids aged three to eight are welcomed into this interactive show inspired by Irish fairytales, and featuring activities and storytelling.

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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Theatre, Shakespeare

As You Like It

icon-location-pin Shakespeare's Globe, South Bank
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This review is from 2018. ‘As You Like It’ returns for 2019. Casting TBA, but liable to be different. Anybody expecting the Globe to become a chintzy Shakespeare museum, in the wake of the untimely end of Emma Rice’s boisterous regime, doesn’t know the Globe…

Time Out says
Theatre, Comedy

Bartholomew Fair

icon-location-pin Shakespeare's Globe, South Bank
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For the first time in well over a decade there is no new writing in the Globe’s outdoor season: a bit of a surpise given that last year’s ‘Emilia’ has transferred to the West End…

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