Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre has confirmed that the venue will be unable to go ahead with its plans to present 101 Dalmatians as part of their 2021 season.
Indications appear to be such that restrictions will almost certainly still be in place when rehearsals were due to begin in March, said a press statement, “and that any easing of social distancing during our performance period is likely to be measured. In this context, it has become clear that, both practically and financially, it will be impossible for us to produce this ambitious brand new musical with complex puppetry and large ensemble cast.”
The musical stage adaptation of 101 Dalmatians, which had been in development for two years, was scheduled to open the 2021 season and Olivier and Tony Award nominee Kate Fleetwood had been cast as the iconic villain Cruella de Vil.
Based on Dodie Smith’s original story set in the heart of Regent’s Park, the newly commissioned musical has a book by Zinnie Harris and music and lyrics by Douglas Hodge. The Open Air Theatre’s AD Timothy Sheader was down to direct.
Timothy Sheader said today:
“Although we will be contacting all ticketholders to provide them with a full refund, we are exploring all options with our co-producers, writers, and creative team and very much hope to be able to announce new plans for the production in due course.”
The Open Air Theatre’s 2021 season will now open with Romeo and Juliet (26 June- 24 July 2021), followed by Carousel (30 July-18 September).