The Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre today released details of their 2016 season, which will include a new production of Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice’s Jesus Christ Superstar.
The first Lloyd Webber/Rice work to be staged by the theatre, Jesus Christ Superstar is set to open there next summer in what will be the celebrated musical’s 45th anniversary year. The production will be directed by artistic director Timothy Sheader and feature choreography by Drew McOnie, and will run from 15th July to 27th August 2016.
The 2016 season will also include the professional premiere of a story adapted for the stage, Shakespeare and the return of a former Open Air Theatre production.
Opening the 2016 season is Michael Morpurgo’s Running Wild, adapted for the stage by Samuel Adamson. It tells of Will and his mother who are making a new start in Indonesia, but following a tsunami, Will is carried off on the back of an elephant named Oona and must learn to survive the rainforest. The Open Air Theatre will premiere the full staging of the play in a co-production with Chichester Festival Theatre, where the piece originated with their youth theatre. Timothy Sheader directs with original Chichester director Dale Rooks. There is also puppetry design and direction by Finn Caldwell and Toby Olie (previous associate puppetry directors on War Horse). Running Wild will run at the Open Air Theatre from 13th May to 12th June 2016.
Shakespeare’s Henry V is next in the season line-up as the Open Air Theatre commemorates the 400th anniversary of the playwright’s death. As England triumphs at the Battle of Agincourt during her quest to win the French crown, Henry V becomes one of the great warrior kings leading “we happy few, we band of brothers “ in Shakespeare’s retelling of this famous victory. Robert Hastie will direct the production. Hastie, who is currently an Associate Director for the Donmar Warehouse, recently received critical acclaim for Abi Morgan’s Splendor and My Night with Reg, which transferred to the Apollo Theatre for a West End run. Henry V will run at the Open Air Theatre from 17th June to 9th July 2016.
Following the run of Jesus Christ Superstar (15th July-27th August), the 2013 sell-out production of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice returns to close the Open Air Theatre’s 2016 season. Adapted for the stage by Simon Reade and directed by Deborah Bruce, the classic love story of Elizabeth Bennet and Mr Darcy comes to the Open Air Theatre from 2nd 17th September 2016 before embarking on a major UK tour.
Speaking about the Open Air Theatre’s 2016 season, Artistic Director Timothy Sheader said: “In a year when the world celebrates the life and work of Shakespeare, our 2016 season champions British writing. Whilst giving classics a new voice through outdoor production, I am delighted to be bringing a new play, Running Wild, to the stage this season. I am passionate about storytelling and of creating work that enhances the shared experience of theatregoing, and I look forward to sharing these productions with our audiences.”
The full casting and creative teams for all the 2016 productions will be announced at a later date.
Tickets go on sale to the general public at 11am on Tuesday 8th December 2015. Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre Memberships are on sale now and priority booking for Members will open at 11am, 12th November.Visit www.openairtheatre.com/