The summer theatre season is upon us! Rather than getting hot and sticky in an old theatre hall, make this summer one to remember and book in for an alfresco theatre experience instead. 

We’ve rounded up the eight best open-air theatre performances going on this summer, from Shakespeare in the Squares to The Railway Children production in Crawley.

Much Ado About Nothing, Shakespeare’s Globe

For the ultimate Shakespearen experience, look to the iconic Shakespeare’s Globe and their summer carousel of theatre productions. 

Set in the reconstruction of the Elizabethan playhouse where Shakespeare wrote his plays, they offer alfresco performances year-round. This summer sees the return of the beloved Much Ado About Nothing, the witty comedy that’s packed with themes of love, pranks and mischievous plots. 

Expect to follow Leonata and her daughters as they reopen their palazzo following years of corruption and war for a celebration that welcomes soldiers back following victory. Limits are tested as two young lovers Hero and Claudio and singletons Beatrice and Benedict run into trouble.

Image Credit: Manuel Harlan via Shakespeare’s Globe
Image Credit: Manuel Harlan via Shakespeare’s Globe

Dates: 25.06.2022 – 23.10.2022

Where: Shakespeare’s Globe, 21 New Globe Walk, SE1 9DT 

Website: www.shakespearesglobe.com

101 Dalmatians, Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre

This one has been in the works for a while having been cancelled twice due to Covid-19, but we can finally confirm that Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre’s adaptation of Dodie Smith’s loveable novel, The Hundred and One Dalmatians will finally be making its way onto the stage this summer.

Set to be a family favourite, the production, spearheaded by director Timothy Sheader, will follow Pongo, Perdi and their litter of puppies as they find themselves on a survival journey as it’s rumoured that Curella de Vil has her heart set on a new Dalmatian fur coat…

Production Dates: 12.07.2022 – 28.08.2022

Where: Regent’s Park, Inner Circle, NW1 4NU

Website: www.openairtheatre.com

The Tempest, Shakespeare in the Squares

Shakespeare in the Squares returns this summer, bringing with it The Tempest. Often described as Shakespeare’s perfect play, it entangles everything, from the love story of Romeo and Juilet to the plotting of Richard III and the comedy of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. 

Taking place all over the capital, book into one of their local performances for an afternoon of liveliness, humour and family-friendly fun. 

Dates: 15.06.2022 – 08.07.2022

Where: Various squares across London

WebsitE: www.shakespeareinthesquares.co.uk

Legally Blonde, Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre

In the words of Elle Woods, I don’t think I’ve been this excited since Gucci became a publicly-traded company…Legally Blonde The Musical has returned to the London stage!

This new production, directed by Six creator Lucy Moss, will be making its way to Regent’s Park’s Open Air Theatre, one of the biggest and most popular theatres in the capital. Moss will provide a fresh take on the musical, adding her award-winning touch to the loveable Legally Blonde to keep it up-to-date and relevant in today’s world. This new production stars Courtney Bowman (previously Anne Boleyn in Six) as Elle Woods.

Based on the original novel by Amanda Brown and made even more successful by the film starring Reese Witherspoon, the musical first opened on Broadway in 2007 before heading to London’s West End in 2009. Its return is hugely anticipated and we can’t wait to get back to Harvard and see how Elle Woods proves everyone wrong.

Dates: Until 02.07.2022 

Where: Regent’s Park, Inner Circle, NW1 4NU 

WebsitE: www.openairtheatre.com

Instagram: Espressobuzz

Greenwich + Docklands International Festival

Returning this August is the Greenwich + Docklands International Festival. Celebrating its 27th year, Greenwich will be packed out with events going on over August and September. 

Expect free outdoor performances from some of the world’s rising stars and installations, including street theatre and voguing from the House of Oak and Iron; an immersive playground with The Sky is Filled with Thunder; and Charon, a giant 32ft high rotating zoetrope with posted skeletons on the edge. Full festival programme to follow… 

Dates: 26.08.2022 – 11.09.2022 

Where: Greenwich 

Website: www.festival.org

Further afield…

The Railway Children, The Hawth

Based on the notorious E. Nesbit’s novel, The Hawth’s production of The Railway Children will be as charming as the century old story. 

The performance will follow siblings Roberta, Phyllis and Peter as they have to leave London and create a new life with their mother in rural Yorkshire. Watch as their love for each other grows and new adventures arise, and see the mystery of why their father remains away from home. 

It’s part of The Hawth’s outdoor season of performances in the outdoor woodland amphitheatre. Bring your raincoats just in case the weather doesn’t hold out.

Dates: 21.08.2022

Where: The Hawth Amphitheatre, Hawth Ave, Crawley, RH10 6YZ 

Website: www.parkwoodtheatres.co.uk

The Piskie in the Garden, Minack Theatre

Cornwall’s stunning Minack Theatre has announced its summer season, arriving with the beautiful storytelling in The Piskie in the Garden. 

Set overlooking the crystal clear ocean, look forward to the story of an old gardener who is woken late at night by a mysterious noise coming from his potting shed. As he can’t find the culprit, he believes it can only mean one thing: there’s a piskie in his garden! 

Watch as John Brolly’s one-man show lights up the stage, bringing with it mischief and fairy magic along the way.

Dates: 11.07.2022 – 09.09.2022 

Where: The Minack Theatre, Porthcurno, Penzance, TR19 6JU 

Website: www.minack.com

Waiting For God, Brighton Open Air Theatre

Brighton’s Open Air Theatre has released its summer performances, including the August arrival of Sarah Mann Company’s Waiting for God. 

An original stage play by Michael Aikens and based on the popular BAFTA nominated TV series, expect a charming and eccentric love story to come centre stage.

Dates: 17.08.2022 – 20.08.2022 

Where: Brighton Open Air Theatre, Dyke Road, Hove, BN3 6EH 

Website: www.brightonopenairtheatre.co.uk


Want to receive more great articles like this every day? Join our daily email now