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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On the Town
Regent's Park Open Air Theatre boss Timothy Sheader takes his love of musicals to the next level this seaso: a returning 'Jesus Christ Superstar occupies the traditional 'big' musical slot in August, but in 2017 the season kicks off with one two in the...Musicals Friday May 19 2017 - Saturday July 1 2017
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. Timothy Sheader...Drama Friday July 7 2017 - Saturday August 5 2017
'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. Aimed...Children's Monday July 17 2017 - Saturday August 5 2017
Jesus Christ Superstar
One of the many contradictions that underpin the life and career of Andrew Lloyd Webber is that his musical about Jesus is about a gazillion times more fun than his musical about cats (don’t even get me started on the rollerskating train). Unfortunately...Musicals Friday August 11 2017 - Saturday September 16 2017
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The Regents Park Open Air theatre is gorgeous purely because of its setting. Surrounded by trees and obviously based in the park it makes for a far more enchanting theatre experience than any other London theatre. Indeed the natural surroundings seem to add to the look and ambience of every production that takes place there.
The open air theatre also has a lovely restaurant, bar and BBQ area attached to it so it's worth getting there early to indulge in at least one of those featured options.
I've only been to this venue once but I am definitely keen to go ahead. Amazing theatre experience.