The best outdoor theatre options in London
There’s no doubt that this city has one of the best (if not the best) theatre scenes in the world, so it’s not a surprise that when the sun’s out, London provides incredible outdoor theatre options.
Watch our video to discover five of London’s best open-air theatres, then scroll down for more details on each – fingers crossed for a dry evening!
National Theatre River Stage, South Bank
This festival brings all sorts of live entertainment to a stage outside the National Theatre.
When? Every weekend during summer – the 2018 season ends on Sun 12 Aug
What’s on? 10-12 Aug: multiple sessions from Friday evening until Sunday night, including Concrete Disco on Friday, circus on Saturday and a free ballroom dancing class on Sunday afternoon.
Where? Outside the National Theatre, SE1 9PX www.nationaltheatre.org.uk
Shakespeare’s Globe, South Bank
Every summer the Globe embraces the warmer weather by opening its main theatre, which is partially open to the elements (you can book seats beneath the roof if you prefer)
When? Every day from late April until October – the 2018 season ends on Sat 20 Oct
What’s on? The Globe runs a variety of Shakespeare plays at the same time; summer 2018’s programme includes As You Like It, Othello, Love’s Labour’s Lost, The Winter’s Tale and The Merchant’s Tale.
Where? 21 New Globe Walk, SE1 9DT www.shakespearesglobe.com
The Scoop, South Bank
Positioned right next to the Thames between London Bridge and Tower Bridge, this auditorium is ‘scooped’ out of the riverbank – hence the name
When? The Scoop hosts the London Free Open Air Theatre Season between August and September
What’s on? One-hour performances of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, followed by the longer King Arthur show; both Wed-Sun
Where? Next to City Hall, SE1 2DB londonbridgecity.co.uk/events
Open Air Theatre, Regent’s Park
This theatre is inside Regent’s Park so it can be a little difficult to find, but the magical, leafy setting is worth seeking out
When? May until September – the 2018 season ends 15 Sep
What’s on? Little Shop of Horrors until 15 Sep and the child-friendly Dinosaur World Live from 12 Aug until 9 Sep
Where? Queen Mary’s Garden inside Regent’s Park, NW1 4NU openairtheatre.com
Opera Holland Park
This park boasts the beautiful Kyoto Garden (donated by the Chamber of Commerce of Kyoto) and puts on a summer programme of opera on an outdoor stage, beneath a canopy
When? From May until July
What’s on? Unfortunately, the 2018 season is now over but 2019 will bring Manon Lescaut by Puccini and Verdi’s Un ballo in maschera, among others
Where? 37 Pembroke Road, W8 6PW www.operahollandpark.com
Images from top: National Theatre River Stage © National Theatre; Romeo & Juliet at Shakespeare’s Globe © Helen Miscioscia; The Scoop © The Scoop; Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre © David Jensen; Opera Holland Park © Robert Workman