Built in 1932, Regent's Park Open Air Theatre is known as a unique and beautiful place in which to see Shakespeare plays, one-off concert performances and musicals. Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre is a permanent outdoor theatre that runs a sixteen-week season every year between May and September.
The venue was curated after Benito Mussolini’s play about Napoleon’s life flopped at the Noël Coward Theatre, with a last-minute emergency production of Twelfth Night was put together. After sold-out performances, the show set up camp at a temporary outdoor theatre in the middle of Regent’s Park to continue their production.
During wartime, the usual disadvantage of being outside played to their advantage as ‘bomb damage’ wasn’t a real threat to closure. After the war, the permanence of the Open Air was affirmed by new brick dressing rooms, and by 1974 the amphitheatre was built with theatre features (like a box office and kitchen) to accompany it.
The first musical was performed at the open-air venue in 1983. In the last few years the theatre’s built more facilities around its amphitheatre for actors and patrons, as well as introducing a ‘Shakespeare Re-imagined’ season with Shakespeare plays adapted for young ones.