Attending The Open Air Theatre, London

posted in: Blog, London | 18
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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.

Outside the Open Air Theatre
Outside the 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.

Different types of weather at the Open Air Theatre
The weather at the theatre ranges from rainy to very sunny!

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. 

 

Wander Mum
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18 Responses

  1. I love going there – though it has been a while! I think I saw A Mid Summers Night Dream. What an experience x

  2. This looks so much fun – we have one here on Brownsea Island and it’s great fun

  3. It was years ago when I went, and I can remember all the twinkly lights…. I watched a Midsummer Night’s Dream there, and then, a few years later, I saw comedian and storyteller Daniel Kitson. They were magical evenings. #citytripping

  4. Another one for the Midsummer Night’s Dream a few years ago (I wonder if we all saw the same production). It is indeed a different kind of experience – in a good way! Been lucky with the weather, although actually I’d probably find the blazing sun harder to cope with than a bit of drizzle. Impressed they continue through full on rain though!

  5. David Watrson

    This looks so much fun – we have one here on Brownsea Island and it’s awesome fun

  6. I love the experience here – it’s a while since I’ve been but have seen Shakespeare, Wilde, improv and it’s a good reminder that I should go back. The weather is definitely part of it, I remember a hilarious The Importance of Being Ernest when rain transformed the raised slope in into a slick slide and the actors had to shuffle in precariously – the whole audience was in tears of laughter.

  7. You know I’ve never made it to the open air theatre…it’s one of those London activities that has eluded me. Thanks for reminding me to add it to my list and make a trip there sometime soon – preferably in summer when it’s hot – but that’s something that can’t be planned! Thanks for linking #citytripping

  8. Love this concept, sounds like you guys had a great time!

  9. It’s amazing people still attend the show under the rain, with rain coat and umbrella. So how can they perform when rain goes on? will actors and actrresses still perform in the rain?

    • In the rain, you stop the action for a bit and then people come on the stage and sweep the rain off! Then it starts again (hopefully – unless the rain goes on and on)…

  10. I was a student in London (long back) but it was a thing to attend open theaters then too! It is one of my fav London memories! 🙂 Thanks for all the lovely nostalgia!

  11. I haven’t been to an open air theater but I’ve always wanted to go to the one in Sante Fe. Part of me thinks tho, that I would be distracted by nature. It would not be fun to be there when it rained.

  12. This looks cool. I would love to go to the Open Air Theater. As long as there was no rain off course.

  13. That looks amazing. I’d love to visit one day.

  14. I lived in London for two years and had no idea this existed!

  15. I love the look of this theatre! Would love to enjoy a play here.

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