Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre has confirmed its 2021 season, including extended runs of Romeo and Juliet (17 June-24 July), directed by Kimberley Sykes, and Carousel (31 July-25 September), directed by Timothy Sheader. Dragons and Mythical Beasts, for ages 3-plus, will now open on 13 August with additional performances added during the run. Covid-secure procedures will be in place for as long as necessary including an initial 50% reduction to seating capacity.
In addition, the theatre will present a co-production with the Unicorn Theatre of Anansi the Spider for ages 3-7. Brought 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.
Artistic Director Timothy Sheader said:
“As a theatre that receives no regular public funding, the financial challenges of producing large-scale theatre with a 50% reduction in seating capacity cannot be underestimated. We are therefore thrilled to have been awarded a grant thanks to the government’s Culture Recovery Fund and look forward to welcoming both audiences and theatre makers back to our unique and special outdoor space this summer.”
A series of MOREoutdoor events will include comedy from Aisling Bea, Jimmy Carr and Luisa Omielan and, following last summer’s sell-out gigs, Canned Laughter presents 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.
The Open Air Theatre is also launching its inaugural Creative Team Associates programme, providing opportunities for artists early in their career to broaden their experience making large-scale work and be supported and mentored by the season’s lead creatives.