Last Updated on June 7, 2021 by Adrian York
What’s on at Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre this summer
Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre has to be one of my favourite theatres in London. I have wonderful childhood memories of seeing a spectacular production of Shakespeare’s The Tempest whilst sitting under the stars with my mother, which I am sure was a defining moment in the formation of my lifelong love for the theatre. I have been a regular visitor ever since and have also taken my children to see numerous memorable productions there.
Every summer I look forward to an evening in the beautiful surroundings of Regent’s Park, picnicking on the grounds before watching a production in the open air. Usually, at about halftime the sun sets over the stage, it really is a very special experience.
So, I am very excited to hear that Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre is opening its doors again for its 2021 season. For anyone who is still a little anxious about going back to the theatre what better way to return than in the open air?
Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre led the industry last summer, being the first major London theatre to re-open amidst the coronavirus pandemic. Welcoming audiences of over 30,000, the theatre was widely celebrated as being at the forefront by introducing new measures to safeguard theatre audiences, performers and staff. This summer the theatre will continue to follow covid-secure procedures for as long as necessary – including an initial 50% reduction to seating capacity.
The 2021 season:
Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre is kicking off the season with a production of Shakespeare’s much-loved tragedy – Romeo and Juliet which will run from 17 June – 24 July and will be directed by Kimberley Sykes. This production was scheduled for 2020 but was postponed because of the pandemic. While we all know the story of Romeo and Juliet, in which a pair of star-crossed lovers take their lives after a short, sweet romance, this production, in the stunning setting of Regent’s Park, promises to be truly magical.
Casting for Romeo and Juliet includes Isabel Adomakoh Young (Juliet) and Joel MacCormack (Romeo), Cavan Clarke (Mercutio), Emma Cunniffe (Nurse), Peter Hamilton Dyer (Friar Lawrence) and Michelle Fox (Tybalt).
Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Carousel plays from 31 July – 25 September, directed by Timothy Sheader. The second musical by Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II, the show was first staged on Broadway in 1945. It tells the story of Billy Bigelow from the Carousel, whose romance with millworker Julie Jordan comes at the price of both their jobs. You’ll recognise the show for songs which are still well known today – ‘If I Loved You’, ‘June is Bustin Out All Over’ and ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’ It’s the musical that Richard Rogers wrote was his favourite!
Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre has now confirmed principal casting for Carousel, Carly Bawden and Declan Bennett play Julie Jordan and Billy Bigelow, John Pfumojena plays Enoch Snow while Olivier Award-winner Joanna Riding plays Nettie Fowler and Natasha May Thomas plays Louise Bigelow.
Artistic Director Timothy Sheader, who directs Carousel, said:
“As with our previous reimagining of classic musicals, I am excited to remove the rose-tinted specs and examine this amazing piece through a 2021 lens. With new orchestrations by Tom Deering and Drew McOnie’s distinctive choreographic language rethinking the role of dance in the storytelling, we look forward to inviting a new audience to Carousel. It’s also important to us that, because of the story and content of Carousel, we are able to support the vital work of Refuge”.
Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre have something for everyone and for those of you looking to entertain the children this summer look no further:
Dragons and Mythical Beasts is a puppet show with a difference, directed by Derek Bond and Laura Cubitt. Suitable for ages 3+ it runs from 13 August – 5 September. From the creators of the West End smash hit ‘Dinosaur World Live’ you and your family will come face to face with some truly amazing creatures. The colossal Stone Troll, the Tooth Fairy, a Griffin and a Unicorn are just some of the creatures you’ll meet.
In addition, the theatre will present a co-production with Unicorn Theatre of Anansi the Spider for ages 3-7. Brought vividly to life by Unicorn’s Artistic Director, Justin Audibert, the production – which consists of three classic West African and Caribbean tales about the spider hoaxster – enjoyed a critically acclaimed run at the Unicorn in 2019, and was ‘re-spun’ as part of their digital offering during the pandemic. The show will play daytime performances on the theatre’s lawn from 7 – 24 July.
There’s also a series of MOREoutdoor events that will include comedy from Aisling Bea, Jimmy Carr, and Luisa Omielan. Following last summer’s sell-out gigs, Canned Laughter will present another all-star comedy fundraiser in support of The Trussell Trust featuring Lolly Adefope, Rosie Jones, Rose Matafeo and Suzi Ruffell – with more acts to be announced.
Also confirmed is a 20th-anniversary screening of Baz Luhrmann’s Moulin Rouge! by The Luna Cinema alongside The Shining.
BOX OFFICE INFORMATION
Box Office 0333 400 3562* | openairtheatre.com
Inner Circle, Regent’s Park, London, NW1 4NU
Lines open Mon-Fri 9am – 8pm / Sat 10am – 8pm / Sun & Bank Holidays 10am – 6pm. A £1.80 per ticket telephone booking fee applies. For Dragons and Mythical Beasts, a £1.80 per ticket booking fee applies for telephone and online bookings (no booking fee when purchased in person at the box office counter)