Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre have today announced their 2023 summer season.
The season opens with Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty’s musical Once On This Island (10 May – 10 June), directed by Ola Ince. This is followed by Carl Grose’s Robin Hood: The Legend. Re-written (17 June – 22 July), a Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre commission directed by Melly Still. Timothy Sheader then directs the musical La Cage aux Folles (29 July – 16 September), with a book by Harvey Fierstein, music and lyrics by Jerry Herman, based on the play by Jean Poiret.
Work for younger audiences and families includes a brand new adaptation of Ben Okri’s Every Leaf A Hallelujah (22 May – 10 June), adapted by Chinonyerem Odimba, The Tempest re-imagined for everyone aged six and over (30 June – 22 July) revised and directed by Jennifer Tang in a co-production with the Unicorn Theatre, and Nicoll Entertainment’s Dinosaur World Live (11 August – 3 September), written and directed by Derek Bond.
Artistic Director Timothy Sheader said: “Our 2022 season was big and bold; we were thrilled with how all three shows brought very different audiences to the Park. The 2023 season increases our commitment to commissioning and producing new work alongside our reimagined revivals and we are delighted to welcome Carl Grose and Chinonyerem Odimba to our stages. After the completion of a major capital project this winter the auditorium will be increased by a further 53 seats, all of which will be sold in the lower price bands. I am particularly excited that we can offer productions for children and families throughout the entirety of the season, engaging younger audiences with the magic of live performance. We look forward to you joining us next summer.”
With book and lyrics by Lynn Ahrens and music by Stephen Flaherty, Once On This Island is based on the novel My Love, My Love by Rosa Guy. Directed by Ola Ince, the story of love, grief, faith and hope tells of peasant girl Ti Moune, a boy called Daniel, and a union that prejudice forbids. Against the heat of the Caribbean sun and destruction of tropical storms, can Ti Moune settle the wager of the Gods, and prove that love is more powerful than death?
Told with epic storytelling, stirring songs, and absolutely no green tights (well, maybe just a flash), Robin Hood: The Legend. Re-written, is a thrilling new take on the classic tale, set in a desperate, divided kingdom where only the truly cunning can outwit the sheriff’s terrifying wrath. Directed by Melly Still and promising humour, heart and a forest full of secrets, expect the arrows to fly in a bold new direction as trickery and truth collide with fiery results. From Carl Grose, the writer behind Dead Dog in a Suitcase (and other love songs), Grand Guignol and the West End musical The Grinning Man.
With a book by Harvey Fierstein and music and lyrics by Jerry Herman, La Cage aux Folles is based on the play by Jean Poiret, and includes the classic songs ‘I Am What I Am’ and ‘The Best of Times’. Directed by Timothy Sheader, Georges, Albin and their son Jean-Michel re-discover the true meaning of family, and of putting yourself last so that the ones you love can come first.
Booker Prize-winner Ben Okri’s new fairytale, Every Leaf A Hallelujah invites children aged 4+ and their families into an enchanted world of extraordinary endangered trees. Commissioned by Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre, this 45-minute show is adapted by Chinonyerem Odimba, and plays during the day on the theatre lawn. All you’ll need is a blanket to sit on and an open heart.
Revised and directed by Jennifer Tang, The Tempest re-imagined for everyone aged six and over brings Shakespeare’s original text thrillingly to life for younger audiences. With daytime performances on the main stage, when the sorcerer Prospero conjures up a storm to shipwreck his enemies, he sets the scene for a tale of spells, monsters, revenge and romance. A co-production with the Unicorn Theatre, the show will transfer to the Unicorn Theatre in September 2023.
Returning to the Open Air Theatre for the first time in five years, Dinosaur World Live is written and directed by Derek Bond. Experience the dangers and delights of this roarsome interactive show for all the family, and meet a host of impressive creatures, including every child’s favourite flesh-eating giant, the Tyrannosaurus Rex.
Full creative teams and casting for all productions to be announced.