1. Shakespeare’s Globe, Bankside
Shakespeare’s Globe was founded in 1997 by American actor and director Sam Wanamaker. The theatre was re-created to be as close to the original as possible and is considered an outdoor auditorium with the stage and the seating areas being the only covered parts. The standing areas are completely open. The theatre is located on Bankside, about 230 metres (750ft.) from the original site and can hold up to 1,400 compared to the original theatre’s 3000 capacity. (Modern safety laws and all that!) Plays are stages during the summer, usually between May and the first week of October and in the Winter, the theatre is used for educational purposes. Experiencing a Shakespeare play in such a theatre is really quite something.
What’s on? Check out the Globe’s Summer season featuring 9 shows all starting from just £5!
2. Regent’s Park Open Air, Regents Park
Regent’s Park Open Air is a stunning outdoor theatre nestled in one of London’s most beautiful parks. It was founded in 1932 by Sydney Caroll and Robert Atkins and is celebrated for its bold and dynamic productions such as Little Shop of Horrors, To Kill a Mockingbird and Olivier Award Winning Jesus Christ Superstar which is now playing at the Barbican Theatre. Both the stage and auditorium are entirely uncovered, which means, yes, it is open to the very fickle British weather. But, the guys at Regent’s Park are always super positive and never cancel a performance before its advertised start time. As they say ‘You would be amazed how often it can rain all day and then clear up just in time for the action to start.‘ We like their optimism! Regent’s Park plays to audiences of over 140,000 people in their limited 18 week season – make sure you get involved in this unique theatre experience.
What’s on? The Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice spectacular Evita is back in London and performing at Regent’s Park until 21st September.
3. Iris Theatre, Covent Garden
Iris Theatre is an award-winning Theatre Company and registered charity based in St Paul’s Church in Covent Garden, affectionately known as The Actors’ Church because of long standing history with the theatrical community. They aim to put on affordable and accessible shows whilst supporting the next generation of professional theatre practitioners, Iris Theatre Company puts on lots of different types of performances in the enchanting and magical gardens of the church, from classical theatre to more circus-style pieces. However, theatre is not a new thing at St Paul’s as the first-ever Punch and Judy show was recorded there in 16th century. How cool is that? With all that in mind, who wouldn’t want to experience the history, culture and fun of this outdoor theatre?
What’s on? Nestled in the tranquil gardens of St Paul’s Church, experience the enchanting production of The Hunchback of Notre Dame with ornate costumes and live music.