Jess, aged 15, writes: Our family loves to go to the theatre, but there is one London theatre which is definitely more memorable than the rest. This is the Open Air Theatre, located in Regent’s Park.
As you might be able to tell from the name, what makes the Open Air Theatre so unique is the plays are conducted outside. This is a really different experience to attending a West End theatre.
After a short walk through the gorgeous flowers and trees of Regent’s Park, you come to the entrance of the Open Air Theatre. After being admitted, you walk past the café, and come face to face with the stage. Regardless of the production, the stage always houses an elaborate and extremely impressive set. In this year’s production of “On The Town” (which has just finished its run), the set was of a naval dockyard, but this transformed into museums, restaurants, and the bustling streets of New York City.
I have seen five different productions at the Open Air Theatre: “The Tempest”, “The Sound of Music”, “To Kill A Mockingbird”, “Seven Brides for Seven Brothers”, and “On The Town”. While I cannot completely remember “The Tempest” (I think I was about six at the time), I have always really enjoyed my visits. My favourite has to be “Seven Brides for Seven Brothers”, which involved amazing singing and simply unbelievable dancing. This was such an exciting and joyous evening, which I really wish I could experience again. Unfortunately, this year’s production was not as good, but I think this was because it just wasn’t to my taste.
Of course, being outside does have some drawbacks; namely the weather. All evening performances tend to get very cold and dark after the interval, but we combat this problem with lots of layers, scarves, gloves, hats, and blankets. Out of the five productions I have seen at the theatre, it has rained twice. Even during the heaviest of rain, the performances have never stopped – this year, the stage was simply wiped down twice before continuing.
The Open Air Theatre puts on such a wide variety of magnificent plays: comedies, musicals, serious drama, and more. It is so exciting to be outside – you can feel the wind in your face, hear birdsong, and even see the sun set! There really is something for everyone, and I would recommend experiencing it.
The Open Air Theatre is about 10 minutes walk from Baker Street tube station and is open from May to December each year. Prices range from £25 to £65 for the main musical theatre productions (the next one up is Jesus Christ Superstar), although there are often other events at weekends during the summer. This year there is also a production of Oliver Twist, aimed at those aged six upwards, and tickets cost £18.
Find out more from their website.