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“What an audacious and imaginative start this is to the Open Air Theatre’s season” Evening Standard

Continuing our ambition to stage large scale theatre for families, Michael Morpurgo’s jungle adventure, Running Wild, incorporated a Young People’s Ensemble of over 50 drawn from our local community, as well as life-size puppetry in the form of orang-utans, a tiger and an elephant. Co-produced with Chichester Festival Theatre, the production embarks on a UK tour in 2017.

Opening on the eve of the EU referendum, Henry V - Shakespeare’s play examining England’s relationship with her European neighbours - was staged to celebrate his legacy in this, the 400th anniversary of his death. With Michelle Terry in the title role, a soundscape of warfare played throughout the venue accompanying choreographed battles.

“What better example of the unintentionally site-specific. Regent’s Park becomes a version of an ideal Britain. Lush, green, inviting. Around the stage, bushes press in, heavy with rain. Birds don’t so much chirrup as bellow their freedom. They soar over the stage, unchallenged across boundaries” (Observer)

As a self-funded charity with ticket sales accounting for over 90% of income, audience engagement and development are key to our success. Jesus Christ Superstar and Pride and Prejudice played to capacity audiences, with both productions continuing into 2017; Pride and Prejudice tours the UK until March and Jesus Christ Superstar returns to the Open Air Theatre to conclude the 2017 season giving audiences one final chance to see it in its original home.

“This is a theatre that doesn’t operate in spite of the elements, but whose magic is in large part created by them” WhatsOnStage

Timothy Sheader Artistic Director

William Village Executive Director

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