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.
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, from 5 Jul to 4 Aug 2019
What’s on? 2-4 Aug: the 2019 closing weekend brings a National Theatre takeover, promising top-class music, dance and family theatre.
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 early June until October – the 2019 season ends on Fri 11 Oct
What’s on? The Globe runs a variety of Shakespeare plays at the same time. Summer 2019’s programme is dedicated to the Bard’s Henry trilogy: Henry IV parts 1 & 2 and Henry V.
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 7 Aug and 1 Sep
What’s on? Performances of The Sea Queen followed by Twelfth Night, Wed-Sun
Where? Next to City Hall, SE1 2DB www.freeopenairtheatre.org
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 2019 season ends 21 Sep
What’s on? Our Town until 8 Jun, followed by Hansel and Gretel (14-22 Jun) A Midsummer Night’s Dream (28 Jun to 27 Jul) and Evita (2 Aug to 27 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 4 Jun until 9 Aug
What’s on? Manon Lescaut by Puccini (4-26 Jun), Verdi’s Un ballo in maschera (8-29 Jun) and lots more
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