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Open-air theatre in London

Dig out the kagoul; London's open-air theatre is worth risking the rain for

David Jensen
Regent's Park Open Air Theatre

Welcome to our round-up of open-air theatre events and venues in town. You'll find London's best outdoor productions at venues as world-famous as Shakespeare's Globe, in parks as pretty as Regent's Park or at festivals as vibrant as 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, and be sure to check back here as soon as the weather improves for all the best open-air theatre in London. 

This month

Greenwich and Docklands International Festival

Between June 23 and July 8 2017 Greenwich and its surrounding area will be flooded with colourful performances as part of London's biggest celebration of outdoor theatre, Greenwich and Docklands International Festival…

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By: Time Out London Theatre
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Macbeth

Iris Theatre celebrate a decade in action with Shakespeare's violent tragedy 'Macbeth'. It'll bring blood, guts and Hieronymous Bosch inspired design to the pansy-lined gardens of Covent Garden's St Paul's Church. 

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St Paul's Church, Covent Garden , Covent Garden Until Saturday July 29 2017

Twelfth Night

Recommended

Here it is, then. Barely a year after she directed her first Shakespeare play for the Globe, this 'Twelfth Night' marks current theatre boss Emma Rice's last Shakespeare in the main theatre, and probably - pending on her final, indoor season - her last one at the Globe generally (and perhaps ever)…

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Shakespeare's Globe , South Bank Until Saturday August 5 2017
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Shakespeare in the Squares: Romeo and Juliet

Shakespeare's tragic lovers Romeo and Juliet will pitch up in some of London's most exclusive green spaces this summer. Outdoor theatre company Shakespeare in the Squares will tour a host of gardens and historic private squares, many of which are in leafy Kensington, plus the odd public park for good measure. 'Romeo and Juliet' is directed by Tatty Hennessy, who's been associate director for the Globe's world tour of 'Hamlet'. She'll set Shakespeare's story to sun-drenched 1950s Italy - let's hope the weather gets the memo.

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Various outdoor locations , London Until Thursday July 13 2017

Regent's Park Open Air Theatre

A Tale Of Two Cities

As the rich get richer and the poor get poorer, Dickens' Victorian novel about social inequality feels as timely as ever. Or at least, that's what Regents Park Open Air Theatre are banking on with Matthew Dunster's contemporary adaptation.

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Regent's Park Open Air Theatre , Regent's Park Friday July 7 2017 - Saturday August 5 2017

Oliver Twist

'Please sir, can I have some more?' Workhouse orphan Oliver is best known for the 1960 musical of the same name. But Royal Court playwright Anya Reiss' family-friendly adaptation of 'Oliver Twist' should bring his story to a whole new audience…

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Regent's Park Open Air Theatre , Regent's Park Monday July 17 2017 - Saturday August 5 2017
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Shakespeare's Globe

Twelfth Night

Recommended

Here it is, then. Barely a year after she directed her first Shakespeare play for the Globe, this 'Twelfth Night' marks current theatre boss Emma Rice's last Shakespeare in the main theatre, and probably - pending on her final, indoor season - her last one at the Globe generally (and perhaps ever)…

Read more
Shakespeare's Globe , South Bank Until Saturday August 5 2017

Much Ado About Nothing

After his explosive gangland reimagining of 'Cymbeline', last year's 'Imogen', Matthew Dunster is reimagining well-loved comedy 'Much Ado About Nothing'. It's a play that's famous for its pair of warring lovers, Beatrice and Benedick. Dunster's amped up the tension by relocating their sparring to 1910 Mexico, a country locked in revolution.

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Shakespeare's Globe , South Bank Friday July 14 2017 - Sunday October 15 2017
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King Lear

As artistic director of Shared Experience, Nancy Meckler is known for using physical theatre to imagine characters' inner lives. Shakespeare's tragedy 'King Lear', her debut Globe show, will throw up plenty of psychological complexities to work with. 

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Shakespeare's Globe , South Bank Thursday August 10 2017 - Saturday October 14 2017

Boudica

The Globe is taking a break from all that Shakespeare with this fearsome new play by Tristan Bernays. As the name suggests, it's a look at the Celtic warrior queen who fought the Romans for the throne they denied her.  

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Shakespeare's Globe , South Bank Friday September 8 2017 - Sunday October 1 2017
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Other open-air shows in London

Greenwich and Docklands International Festival guide

Between June 23 and July 8 2017 Greenwich and its surrounding area will be flooded with colourful performances as part of London's biggest celebration of outdoor theatre, Greenwich and Docklands International Festival.

Read more
By: Time Out London Theatre

Shakespeare in the Squares: Romeo and Juliet

Shakespeare's tragic lovers Romeo and Juliet will pitch up in some of London's most exclusive green spaces this summer. Outdoor theatre company Shakespeare in the Squares will tour a host of gardens and historic private squares, many of which are in leafy Kensington, plus the odd public park for good measure. 'Romeo and Juliet' is directed by Tatty Hennessy, who's been associate director for the Globe's world tour of 'Hamlet'. She'll set Shakespeare's story to sun-drenched 1950s Italy - let's hope the weather gets the memo.

Read more
Various outdoor locations , London Until Thursday July 13 2017

Macbeth

Iris Theatre celebrate a decade in action with Shakespeare's violent tragedy 'Macbeth'. It'll bring blood, guts and Hieronymous Bosch inspired design to the pansy-lined gardens of Covent Garden's St Paul's Church. Daniel Winder directs David Hywel Barnes in the title role, after his turn as fellow historical villain Richard III three years back.

Read more
St Paul's Church, Covent Garden , Covent Garden Until Saturday July 29 2017
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River Stage

Head to South Bank for free weekends of live music, dance, performance, workshops and family fun, courtesy of the good guys at the NT. Their outdoor River Stage will use the space outside the theatre to host takeovers from live performance luminaries including WOMAD, Rambert, and East London cabaret bar The Glory. 

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National Theatre , South Bank Friday July 28 2017 - Sunday August 27 2017

Sense of Unity

Take the whole family outdoors for this magical free show. Giant light-up puppets from Germany will tell a story of togetherness and friendship with a storming drum soundtrack from Worldbeaters. Accompanied by their West African-inspired rhythms, Dundu's 'Sense of Unity' takes the form of a procession down Bow's Roman Road. 

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Roman Road , Bow Saturday July 1 2017

Extravaganza Macabre

As a sprawling former Victorian town hall, Battersea Arts Centre isn’t short of space, so its decision to turn a previously unloved courtyard into a brand new outdoor performance space is a surprising one. But it makes perfect sense once you see what playful theatre scamps Little Bulb can do with it. They make its brick walls reverberate with supernatural horrors in a melodrama that harks back to the theatre’s Victorian heyday. 

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Battersea Arts Centre , Battersea Tuesday July 4 2017 - Saturday July 29 2017
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Grimm's Fairy Tales

What could be Grimm-er then a show in a graveyard? Pandemonium Performance are back in Stoke Newington's Abney Park Cemetery with an outdoor promenade play inspired by classic tales including 'Hansel & Gretel', 'Rumpelstiltskin' and 'Red Riding Hood'. Recommended for ages ten-plus. 

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Abney Park Cemetery , Stoke Newington Wednesday July 12 2017 - Sunday July 30 2017

Tales from the Arabian Nights

Flying carpets, magic lamps, beautiful maidens and adventuring sailors: the stories of the Arabian Nights have captured kids' imaginations for centures before Disney's 'Aladdin'. This outdoor promenade show from London Bubble will tell some of Scheherazade's best stories in two South London parks, Greenwich Park and Southwark Park. 'Tales from the Arabian Nights' is the handiwork of playwright Farhana Sheikh, who first created it for community-focused company London Bubble. This revival, directed by Jonathan Petherbridge, with designs by Yasuko Hasegawa, is a welcoming show for all ages - and you can even bring the family mutt along

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Southwark Park , Rotherhithe Tuesday August 1 2017 - Saturday August 19 2017

Hansel & Gretel

The biggest draw of this family show might just be the life-size edible gingerbread house Iris Theatre are promising to build (although how edible it'll be after a month exposed to the British weather is anyone's guess). But their 'Hansel & Gretel' promises all manner of magical beasts and forest adventures around the gardens of St Paul's Church. Amy Draper directs this fairytale adventure for kids.

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St Paul's Church, Covent Garden , Covent Garden Thursday August 3 2017 - Sunday September 3 2017
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The Odyssey

The Scoop's ambitious annual cycles of free theatre shows have already dealt with the heavier side of Greek myth – notably the story of Oedipus – so this should be a doddle: a three-part romp through the colourful world of Homer's 'The Odyssey'…

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The Scoop , London Bridge Wednesday August 9 2017 - Sunday September 3 2017

Comments

2 comments
sijege s
sijege s

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Sophie
Sophie

Would have paid double to see this. Was terrific. Love site specific open air theatre. Standing ovations from the whole audience!