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Performance Times Ticket Prices Where to Buy Tickets  Seating Plan Seat Opinions Getting Here

OPEN AIR THEATRE REGENT'S PARK

The Summer 2017 season.


JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR
(musical)
Ends 23rd September 2017.
Not to be confused with the Susan Boyle musical ("Superstar? Jesus Christ!") this is the one about the guy who gets nailed to a tree just for suggesting everyone is kind to each other for a change.* Truly the greatest story ever told, and one of the best modern musicals, this Lloyd Webber / Rice is the first of theirs to play the Open Air Theatre. Timothy Sheader directs, Drew McConie does the choreography in this revival of the hit 2016 production at this venue. Declan Bennett, Tyrone Huntley, David Thaxton and Peter Caulfield will reprise their roles of Jesus, Judas, Pilate and Herod.
*Gag credits: Barry Cryer and Douglas Adams.

 

THE 2018 SEASON:
Mostly will be announced in late 2017, but one production is currently on sale.

THE TURN OF THE SCREW (opera)
Previews from 22nd June, opens 25th June 2018. Ends 30th June 2018.
A young governess tries to protect her charges in a haunted home. A Henry James novel turned into an opera by Benjamin Britten, with the ENO orchestra helping out in the Park.

 

Theatremonkey Opinion:
Jesus Christ Superstar: (Seen at the preview performance on 16th July 2016). Some actors have now left the cast:
Timothy Sheader strips this modern classic right back to its “rock opera” roots, ably assisted by choreographer Drew McOnie and a skyscraper skeleton (note the hidden cross) set for the massive cast to swarm over, from Tom Scutt.

Some online have commented that its simple a pop concert, semi-staged. They are wrong. This is an incredibly well-considered piece of work, with the hysteria and hyped crowd of the first half falling away to reveal gripping individual struggles in the second.

The details are beautiful – the silver treasure chest, the blue effect (no spoiler), the golden symbolism (no spoiler again) and cord (third spoiler denial).


The cast is outstanding. To deal with the vibrant young company first, Charlotte Riby and Rosa O’Reilly are captivating. The first as a zealot and masked militia, the second as a rocking singer with energy to spare. Barnaby Thompson and Joseph Prouse for the men make an impact too, versatile both vocally and emotionally.

In the named roles, Phil King is a lost Peter, Joel Harper-Jackson gives Simon an edge and Peter Caulfield delivers an unusual Herod’s Song.


As Mary, Anoushka Lucas (above) is saddled with the most-overdone modern classic number, “I Don’t Know How To Love Him.” and can’t make any impact at all with it. Unsurprising, as there’s nowhere left to go that hasn’t been done to death already. A nervous “Everything’s Alright” isn’t much better, but should settle as the run continues. Fortunately, the monkey is confident in this as her plaintive “Could We Start Again, Please” delivered from high in the top corner, is devastatingly effective.


Tyrone Huntley (above) as Judas is another reason to see the show. A real character, not just commentator. His journey and final pain are all too real, his stance as victim credible.


Which leaves Declan Bennett (above) as Jesus. Surprised to be leader of his gang, preferring a guitar to lavish backing, yet letting rip when it’s his show to do, he manages to fade and surface with impressive modesty, as befits the role.

Fitting with this vision, the staging follows and re-enforces every emotion. If it’s played a little too fast, and tries a little hard at times, it is only down to early enthusiasm, the monkey opines. This is a solid revival with a highly talented cast. Try not to miss it, you’ll worry if you do. For this revival everything is more than all right. It’s fine, indeed.

All photographs credit: Johan Persson. Used by kind permission. Some photos are of the original 2016 cast.
 

Your Reviews: Add your own by clicking here.
Important: Some reviews below can contain "spoilers" - please don't read if this bothers you!

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Top Performance Times Ticket Prices Where to Buy Tickets  Seating Plan Seat Opinions Getting Here

Performance Schedule:
The monkey advises checking performance times on your tickets and that performances are happening as scheduled, before travelling.

"Jesus Christ Superstar":
Monday to Saturday at 7.45pm
Thursday and Saturday at 2.15pm and 7.45pm (no 2.15pm performance on 12th and 17th 2017).

Runs 2 hours 5 minutes approximately.


"The Turn of the Screw":
Monday to Saturday at 7.45pm
Thursday and Saturday at 2.15pm and 7.45pm

 

Ticket Prices:

Offers May be available - Click Here

View this information in diagram form.

Note that row A, and B 1 to 7 and 22 to 28, plus T 14 to 16, 42 to 44, 71 to 73 and 100 to 102, are not sold until nearer the date of performance, once sightlines / staging needs have been confirmed.

"Jesus Christ Superstar":
Front Section
Rows A to I and J 9 to 45: £59 except
Premium Seats row E 16 to 26, F 16 to 27 and G 19 to 30 (plus H 20 to 33 Friday and Saturday): £65
"Premium" seats include a glass of wine and free programme. Discounts are not available and alcohol cannot be served to those aged under 18. Proof may be required and the right to refuse service is reserved. No credit is given for un-used vouchers.
Rows B and C 1 to 4 (restricted view): £48

Rear Section
Central Block
Rows J to Q: £59
Rows R and S: £48
Row T seats 45 to 69: £36.50

Side blocks adjacent to centre block (containing stairwells)
Rows J to N, plus O 25 to 32 and 54 to 61; P 26 to 33 and 56 to 63; Q 28 to 35 and 59 to 66: £59
Row O 13 to 19 and 67 to 74; P 12 to 25 and 64 to 77; Q 13 to 27 and 67 to 81 and R plus S 21 to 38 and 64 to 71: £48
Row S 14 to 20 and 72 to 88: £36.50
Row T seats 14 to 43 and 70 to 102: £30
Restricted view seats row O seats 20 to 24 and 62 to 66: £25

Outermost side blocks
Row J 1 to 8 and 49 to 56; K 5 to 9 and 51 to 54; L 6 to 9 and 56 to 59; M 9, 10, 59 and 60: £48
Row K 2 to 4 and 55 to 57; L 3, 4, 5, 60, 61, 62; M 5 to 8, 61 to 64; N 5 to 10, 63 to 68; O 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 75, 76, 77, 78, 79, 80; P 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 78, 79, 80, 81, 82; Q 9, 10, 11, 12, 82, 83, 84, 85; R 9, 10, 11, 12, 85, 86, 87, 88; S 10, 11, 12, 13, 89, 90, 91, 92: £36.50
Row K 1 and 58; L 1, 2, 63, 64; M 1 to 4, 65 to 68; N 1 to 4, 69 to 72; O 1 to 6, 81 to 85; P 3 to 6, 83 to 86; Q 3 to 8, 86 to 91; R 3 to 8, 89 to 95; S 5 to 9, 93 to 97; T 7 to 13, 103 to 109: £30
Row P 1, 2, 87, 88; Q 1, 2, 92, 93; R 1, 2, 96, 97; S 1 to 4, 98 to 101; T 1 to 6 and 110 to 115: £25
 

 

"The Turn of the Screw":
Front Section
Rows A to I and J 9 to 45: £55 except
Premium Seats row E 17 to 26; F 18 to 27; G 19 to 30; H 22 to 31: £65
"Premium" seats include a glass of wine and free programme. Discounts are not available and alcohol cannot be served to those aged under 18. Proof may be required and the right to refuse service is reserved. No credit is given for un-used vouchers.
Rows B and C 1 to 4 (restricted view): £45

Rear Section
Central Block
Rows J to Q: £55
Rows R and S: £45
Row T seats 45 to 69: £36.50

Side blocks adjacent to centre block (containing stairwells)
Rows J to N, plus O 25 to 32 and 54 to 61; P 26 to 33 and 56 to 63; Q 28 to 35 and 59 to 66: £55
Row O 13 to 19 and 67 to 74; P 12 to 25 and 64 to 77; Q 13 to 27 and 67 to 81 and R plus S 21 to 38 and 64 to 71: £45
Row S 14 to 20 and 72 to 88: £36.50
Row T seats 14 to 43 and 70 to 102: £30
Restricted view seats row O seats 20 to 24 and 62 to 66: £25

Outermost side blocks
Row J 1 to 8 and 49 to 56; K 5 to 9 and 51 to 54; L 6 to 9 and 56 to 59; M 9, 10, 59 and 60: £45
Row K 2 to 4 and 55 to 57; L 3, 4, 5, 60, 61, 62; M 5 to 8, 61 to 64; N 5 to 10, 63 to 68; O 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 75, 76, 77, 78, 79, 80; P 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 78, 79, 80, 81, 82; Q 9, 10, 11, 12, 82, 83, 84, 85; R 9, 10, 11, 12, 85, 86, 87, 88; S 10, 11, 12, 13, 89, 90, 91, 92: £36.50
Row K 1 and 58; L 1, 2, 63, 64; M 1 to 4, 65 to 68; N 1 to 4, 69 to 72; O 1 to 6, 81 to 85; P 3 to 6, 83 to 86; Q 3 to 8, 86 to 91; R 3 to 8, 89 to 95; S 5 to 9, 93 to 97; T 7 to 13, 103 to 109: £30
Row P 1, 2, 87, 88; Q 1, 2, 92, 93; R 1, 2, 96, 97; S 1 to 4, 98 to 101; T 1 to 6 and 110 to 115: £25
 

Previews:
"The Turn of the Screw"

£5 off £55, £45, £36.50 and £30 tickets on 22nd and 23rd June ONLY, if booked by 30th April 2018.

Senior Citizens:
Best available non-premium price seats reduced to £22.50 at all midweek afternoon performances only. Bookable in advance, tickets must be collected from the box office on the day of performance, with appropriate ID presented.

Under 18s:
Best available non-premium seats reduced to £25 at all performances EXCEPT Saturday Evenings.
_________________________________

"Friends of the Regent's Park Open Air Theatre"
See: www.openairtheatre.com

Join the Friends of the Open Air Theatre and support a tradition stretching back to the 1930s. In addition, you could save money on tickets at London's premier outdoor theatre. You’ll also have priority booking, invites to exclusive events, booking privileges, and help to ensure an exciting future for the Open Air Theatre.

Membership costs from £15 per year for "Priority Booking" and £50 for full membership.
 

Top Performance Times Ticket Prices Where to Buy Tickets  Seating Plan Seat Opinions Getting Here

Buying Tickets Online:

Other Box Office Information

Tickets offered differ between outlets. Outlets also may offer different seats via their phone and online systems. Offers may be available click here.
Theatre Box Office:
www.openairtheatre.com Their own site provide the service for this theatre.
 

Booking fees per ticket for online bookings:
No booking fee to have tickets emailed to you. A £2 per booking, not per ticket, handling fee is charged if you wish to have tickets posted to you.  For "special events" a £1.50 per ticket booking fee, plus the £2 postage charge (if required) applies.

Other Online Choices (with S.T.A.R. genuine ticket agencies):
PLEASE CHOOSE YOUR PRODUCTION CAREFULLY, AS MISTAKES CANNOT EASILY BE RECTIFIED.

Will appear here when available.

Independent S.T.A.R. ticket agencies may offer an alternative choice of seats.
 

Box Office Information:
Tickets offered differ between outlets. Outlets also may offer different seats via their phone and online systems. Offers may be available click here.

Theatre Box Office:
Telephone: 0844 826 4242
Operated by the venue during the open season, and by the Ticket Factory Agency when the venue is closed and at busy times during the open season. Phone lines are open 9am to 9pm.

The box office in the park is open:

Performance days: 11am to 8pm
Non performance days: Monday to Saturday 11am to 5pm

Sunday events: From one hour before the gate opens.
The Box Office is be closed on Sunday dates when there is no performance.

Check venue website for any variations on the above.

When closed, bookings are taken online and by phone only.

 

Booking fees per ticket for telephone bookings:
A £1.50 per ticket booking fee is charged for telephone bookings with the box office. A further £2 per booking, not per ticket, is charged to have tickets posted to you if required. Booking online is far cheaper. For groups of 10 or more, a £4.50 per booking, not per ticket, service charge is made.

If collecting tickets reserved by telephone, PLEASE BRING THE CREDIT CARD YOU USED WITH YOU - the box office cannot issue your tickets without it.

Remember that, online, no fee is charged except for some Sunday performances - the system will indicate these at time of booking.


For personal callers or by post: Inner Circle, Regent's Park, London. NW1 4NP
No booking fee for personal callers.
Postal bookings by cheque should be made payable to "Open Air Theatre."
For postal bookings, a £1.50 per ticket booking fee, plus £2 per booking, not per ticket return postage fee. Don't forget to add this to your cheque when calculating.

The box office in the park opens during the season only. Details above.


Special Access Needs Customers:
Wheelchair users and other registered disabled theatregoers can book their seats and enquire about concessionary prices that may be available to them on a dedicated phone line. see Notes.

www.openairtheatre.org is the official theatre website.

 

 
 
Top Performance Times Ticket Prices Where to Buy Tickets  Seating Plan Seat Opinions Getting Here

Theatre Seat Opinions:
Please remember that cheaper seats often do not offer the same view / location quality as top price ones, and that ticket prices are designed to reflect this difference.

(photo: David Jensen)

In 2014 new seating has been installed. It's now of "stadium standard," throughout, with smart green plastic padded seat and high back, plus arm rests at every seat. Very comfortable, the monkey found, on its first visit of the year.

www.theatremonkey.com is very proud to sponsor seat A18 at this venue:


To find out how you could help this amazing theatre by doing likewise, visit www.openairtheatre.com/sponsoraseat.
(Photographs above were taken and supplied by the Open Air Theatre, Regent's Park, in July 2014. Used by kind permission of the venue owner).

 

Seating Plan Diagram

Front Stalls Rear Stalls Notes
The theatre is a vast fan-shaped auditorium divided into front and rear blocks by a wide gangway in front of row J.

FRONT STALLS 
(called the "Lower Tier" in this venue)

Layout:
The front block is of concrete steps rising from the stage.

The block is split into a central and two side blocks by aisles.

Grassy banks either side of the side blocks provide further seating if not used in the production and the grass is dry.

Legroom:
Good for all but those over 5ft 10 or so in all seats.

Best legroom is in rows A and J where it is almost unlimited. Row J will possibly suit the longer legged better, feels the monkey, as the seats are set slightly higher than row A.

Side block aisle seats have extra space for one leg.


Choosing Seats in General:
Centre Block:
New seating gives a little extra height to all seats, improving the view over the row in front.

Choose the centre block row D first, then C, B and A for those who enjoy a close look at the stage. Row D looks just nicely down onto the stage when they are using the slightly raised plinth type stage commonly in this theatre's set designs.

Others also like E, F and G for a slightly wider perspective.

Row J is inserted in the aisle space in front of row K. Positioned in the aisle space between front and rear stalls blocks, against the metal rails of the rear section. It has an excellent view and better legroom than other seating, and a reader who sat there agrees!

Better still, the outermost ends of row J are cheaper. The view from these end sections is a little side on from outermost seats perhaps, and you are at the same height as side block seats in row I in front, but if available, the legroom is worthwhile feels the monkey... if nobody tall takes row I, maybe...

Also look at the rear block row M seats 26 to 44 then L 24 to 41 before picking rows H, I and J since the rake (elevation over the row in front) is better - though be aware row L looks through a bar at the front of the seating section and isn't suitable for those under 5ft 6 or so.

 

Side Blocks:
These offer a good, if slightly angled view, but as usual, the centre block is preferable, as almost all seats are the same price. Irritatingly, stage action normally happens towards the centre, meaning those at the sides don't always see actors faces full-on. Row choice order is the same as the centre block.

One reader also noticed that the 2010 set for "Into The Woods" blocked views from A1. Poor scenic design on future shows could obviously cause an issue here, notes the monkey. On the other hand, A 1 to 4 and 21 to 24 are often sold at second price or below. Cheaper, the monkey likes A 4 and 3 / 21 and 22 in that order.

Four wheelchair spaces can be inserted into row J replacing seats 9 to 11, 20 to 23, 20 to 23, 33 to 36 and 46 to 48 as required. Monkey advice is to take 20 to 23 and 33 to 36 first, as they are nice and central.

Also worth knowing is that the grass banks beside the seats are also sold if it's a dry day and they are not needed for the production. A side view, but a way to see the show for those willing to sit on the ground.

General Hazard Notes:
The stage is an adaptable space on a grassy base. If extended outwards by boards, it can form a diamond shape that sometimes comes to a sharp point in front of the centre seats in row A. It is low enough not to affect sightlines too greatly, though a few purists might want to avoid A 11 to 14.

Be aware that speakers on the grass bank under the stage can be loud for those in the front rows.

Holes in the metal drain covers on the concrete public gangway in front of row A are stiletto hazards.

If it has rained, water collects in the cracks in the concrete in front of row A particularly.

Changes for the current production:
The monkey will update as available.
"Jesus Christ Superstar" has rows B and C 1 to 4 at second price, as the set is high there SPOILER the end of a large cross is in sightlines. SPOILER ENDS. A to C 1 and 2 are worth missing. In particular, A 1 won't see anything except a large block and anyone standing on that block, for much of the show.

TV monitors are concealed in raised sections of the stage in front of A4, 12 and 16. These are worth missing for purists, who won't see feet round them.

Some good stuff happens at high levels, but this is clear for all - the monkey found opera glasses helped.

"The Turn of the Screw" has a few extra premium seats, but nothing to spoil anyone's evening.


(photo: David Jensen. Sound of Music 2013)


Reader Comments:
“Stalls: (Craig). Stall seats were comfortable, all now have integral cushions. All stall seats are individual seats with wooden arm rests."

"A3 to A6. Although you are to one side of the stage, you do not miss out on anything!"

"A10: "On the Town" (June 2017). Seat A10 was in the very front row and wish there was a clear view with plenty of leg room, I would suggest you avoid the front row, as there is a very high stage and you can not see the feet of the performers."

"D33 and 34: "Into The Woods" (August 2010). Really good. As the action sometimes takes place on the high walk ways I was glad not to be right at the front!"

"E 4 and 5: "The Sound Of Music" (August 2013). Following the Monkeys sage advice, we booked seats E4 and 5 for the current, Sound of Music production, as it was heavily sold out. The view was great, far better than the rows in front of us, and good value for money. Given the final scene, it was a fantastic place to seat! Don't forget to pack a bin bag to sit on though, because if its been raining during the day, the upholstered seats remain very damp."

"G6: "Into The Woods (August 2010), (Mark). Got for £8 as the 'Breeze Night' discount for young people. Great seat, very close to the action, go for central seats at full price, but the seats in the side block were absolutely fine."

"I20 and I21: (James – regular reader). Excellent!"

"I25 and 25: "Jesus Christ, Superstar" (July 2016). Good view from seats I25 and 26."

"I30 and 31: "Crazy For You" (2011), (James – regular reader). Perfect, but do take a waterproof blanket to put on the seat if it has been raining in the afternoon!”

"J39: "Peter Pan" (2015). Sat in J39 for an afternoon performance. It was the first really hot day of June and those on the other side of the theatre (i.e. with the lowest-numbered seats) struggled as they sweltered. I had the perfect seat! It was in dappled sunshine and then, as the play progressed, pretty much full shade. Access is step free and there is nobody immediately in front of you (it's a gangway), so unlimited legroom. View was superb. Worth noting that the seats here are very wide – the person next to me was huge but still managed to sit comfortably without overflowing onto my seat. Easy to make a quick getaway at the end – you are seconds from the exit."

 


REAR STALLS 
(called the "Upper Tier" in this venue)

Layout:
A wooden walled, with metal rails at the front of it, concrete grandstand split into five blocks by gangways.

A high rail runs across the front of this section, badly blocking views in row K.

Blocks adjacent to the centre one have stairwells let into them, taking a bite out of seats in rows J to N.

Aisle seats have low black metal safety rails beside them. These are low and should not affect the view - the colour should help them fade into the dusk, in fact.

The very first and very last seat in the whole row (which are all located in the outermost blocks) are NOT on an aisle, there is just a wooden wall next to them.

Legroom:
Adequate in almost all seats for all but the very tallest over 5ft 10 or so, best in Row T seats 14, 15, 16, 43, 44, 71, 72, 73, 100, 101 and 102 with nothing in front.

Seats T42, 45 and 74 have far less legroom for one leg, plus a metal upright post in front of them, right in the "split the difference" zone, as it were. Ladies in long skirts, and men who move clumsily should avoid these seats in particular.

Choosing Seats in General:
The view won't disappoint from most seats, but as usual when all seats in a row are priced the same, insist on the best.

(photo: David Jensen. Pride and Prejudice 2013).

Centre Block:
Behind row O the seats rise steeply. Value is fair in all seats except row K and those behind the stairwell in rows O and P, but rows S and T do feel remote from the action (you notice it when climbing down from your perch there!) - sound is normally good, though.

So, all that said: In the most central block, row L seats 10 to 48, row M seats 11 to 51, row N seats 11 to 54, O 33 to 53, P 34 to 55 and Q 36 to 58 are the same top price as the front section of the theatre. Some may welcome the opportunity to sit further back for the same money - and the view is decent enough - but the monkey rates the tickets only average value here - and would skip O to Q all together at those prices.

In the most central block R 37 to 60 and S 39 to 63 are at second price. The monkey would skip row S for cheaper T, and leave row R until later at that price - it's too far back, it feels, and there are new cheaper opportunities in the outermost blocks for the same money.
 

Adjacent Centre Blocks:
Either side of the main block, this pair were at second price back in 2007, now established at top price back to row N, plus the outer ends of O to Q as well. Expensive from O to Q (particularly O25 right by the restricted view seats) are over priced, it feels. You are further from the stage, don't get armrests and yet pay the same money.

Seats in row K, behind the fence posts in particular should be avoided at this new top price. Also, be aware there is fencing around the stairwells and front of the block section too.

The blocks adjacent to the central one are also the ones containing stairwells. Worth avoiding are seats row O 20 to 25 and 62 to 66, P 20 to 25 and 67 to 72, and for purists Q 22 to 26 and R 68 to 72 which get commanding views of the stairwell rails (and over the lighting box top) - cutting heads off; and O 20 and 66 in particular also notice the rails down the sides as they look to the stage. Fortunately, the box office sell most of these horrors last! O 20 to 24 and 62 to 66 are bottom price as they are very restricted view but central. Your call, feels the monkey, who would probably go for the outermost block's seat option back to R first.

New pricing puts the 8 seats off the centre aisles from O to Q at top price, and the 8 in S at second price. Pay more to be further from the stage... not a good idea, feels the monkey. Restricted view seats in row P and Q aside, at second price there's better value taking the most central seats available (once centre block tickets at the same price are gone) in R or taking a look at the most central seats on the ends of rows L and M on the outermost side blocks.

At third price, the monkey would take central T, but would also look to the extreme outer blocks rows N and O first if only wanting a pair or trio of seats (the other 2 are a bit too far over, usually).

Row T seats 14 to 41 and 74 to 102 are third price and about average value. The extra legroom seats T 14, 15, 16, 100, 101 and 102 are a bonus added to saved bananas, it feels. Aside from these seats, it would explore the outermost blocks aisle seats further forward before others in row T, perhaps.

Outermost Side Blocks:
Re-priced for 2017, reducing bargains, feels the monkey.

At second price, M 9 and 10 / 59 and 60 then L 9 to 6 / 53 to 66 in that order are worth a try for being closer to the stage than the others at the same price.

The third price stuff remains fair value back to row P but gets expensive for Q to S and also the outer seats in K to M. Too far over for the money, it thinks. Go as close to the aisle and near to the front as possible - N then O then P.

Fourth and fifth price seats have seen changes. Two more seats nearest the aisle have moved up a price. That means you will be two seats further to the side if looking for a fifth price ticket. Still better than paying more to be at the back of the centre section, even if the view is a little more to the side, so don't write off anything 5 or more seats from the centre aisle, where the price drops. K 1 and 28 are singles at fifth price. Not great due to the rail, feels the monkey.

Similarly, instead of row T at bottom price, it would also consider outermost seats from P back if vertigo isn't a problem (they are next to fence preventing a fair drop to the ground, so sufferers should only take P at best). Also worth a glance are O 20 to 24 and 62 to 66: very restricted view but central. Your call, feels the monkey, who would probably go for the outer seat option back to R first.

The alternative bottom price tickets are at the far ends of row T. If choosing these, try for as close to the aisle as possible - and be aware that foliage can get in the way / shed leaves on you at the extreme ends of the row. Very expensive now, too, feels the monkey.

General Hazard Notes:
Those sitting in the outermost seats from row N back may find the view between the rails induces vertigo. Seriously, don’t even THINK of sitting in the very end seats if bothered by heights. The monkey has seen the results, and feels very sorry indeed for those suffering.

Claustrophobics should also avoid extreme ends of rows, as there are no aisles there and the blocks ahead are large and enclosing in a full auditorium (which the park usually attracts).

The blocks adjacent to the central one are the ones containing stairwells. Worth avoiding are seats row O 20 to 25 and 62 to 66, P 20 to 25 and 67 to 72, and for purists Q 22 to 26 and R 68 to 72 which get commanding views of the stairwell rails (and over the lighting box top) - cutting heads off; and O 20 and 66 in particular also notice the rails down the sides as they look to the stage. Fortunately, the box office sell most of these horrors last!

The whole of row K, with rails splitting up the view.

A sound desk can replace row T seats 57 to 61, extending out of the technicians hut above and behind the seating area. Avoid seats around it - T56 and 62 in particular.

Falling leaves / overgrown branches can affect sightlines at the ends of row T, depending on season and pruning that has or has not taken place.

Changes for the current production:
A sound desk is likely to replace T 57 to 61 for all productions.

"The Turn of the Screw" has T 53 to 61 removed, but nothing to spoil anyone's evening.

 

Reader Comments:
"K31 and 32: "Ragtime the Musical" (July 2012), (Chris B). Great, completely unobstructed view of the entire stage. A little raised so you can appreciate everything going on at once, as there are often lots of actors on stage at the same time. There is a walk way directly in front so no heads to block the view. The safety barrier for the walk way does provide a foot rest as there is also plenty of legroom. Coincidently these seats don't face the sun throughout the matinee performance so no sun in your eyes which is a bonus."

"L 3 to 5: "The Sound of Music" (August 2013): The first performance got rained off part way through, always a hazard with open air theatre, but they did stop and start it a few times and people began to comment that if it carried on like that they would have to leave before the end anyway to catch trains .The second was the very last one on 14th September which was a bit chilly. Some people had blankets which was a good idea. Always take a bag to sit on (you can buy seat covers but theatre visits are expensive enough without unnecessary extras)." The rake is steep enough that I would be surprised if anybody had a bad view, the downside being you can end up with a knee in your back/shoulder if the person behind is particularly tall. Our seats were £35 because they were outermost side blocks, but the view was excellent, wouldn't bother to pay more. However. if you suffer from vertigo don't go too far back. Would recommend for something a little bit different, even though my teenager turned to me with water dripping off her head and said "Is this supposed to be fun?"

"M7: "Seven Brides for Seven Brothers" (July 2015). 15.08. I booked the ticket rather late, so M0 was the best seat I could get. Sure it’s rather high and off to the side, but the show is staged in a way that you pretty much see everything from any seat. An aisle seat would’ve been preferable for legroom, but as the Monkey has noted, you can sit quite comfortably in the theatre. Sidenote: I test-sat K16 and O21 to 23 after the show. I think I might have a decent view from those seats (I have a rather long upper body) and I’ll probably give them a try next year, if the price is right."

“7 Brides” is a whole lot of fun. No more, no less. Sure, the story is somewhat silly, and it’s not the kind of musical you see for deep emotions. But I dare you to try and sit still during the musical numbers."

"O21 and 22: "Henry V" (June 2016). We chose these seats on the grounds that they were £17.50 cheaper than those just to one side of them, taking the risk that the bar restricting the view was worth the saving. And we were very pleased with our decision. Both of us over 6' and could easily see over the bar, it didn't restrict the view at all. Even if a shorter person took the seats I think it would be a minor inconvenience to bob up or down a little to get a clear view for the sake of the big saving to be had. I would jump at these seats if I decided to visit again. But I confess this would be unlikely. It was a grey evening and a bit windy, which made for a very brooding backdrop, but it also meant that the sound from another event's sound-check nearby drifted into the auditorium for the full duration of the performance. Disco music did not create the right mood for the aftermath of the battle, and quite honestly spoiled it for me, a first time visitor. Incidentally we thought about moving to more expensive seats, plenty of which were available, but in the end decided that the ones we had were as good as any of the others. The venue itself was wonderful and I'm very glad I went."

"O24: "Running Wild" (May 2016). Feeling very brave, I’ve booked O24 (only £25 compared to £50 for O25), and wasn’t disappointed. Legroom is pretty much the same everywhere and I’m somehow able to sit comfortably and still look over the stairwell rails. In the future, though, I might go for O23 or 22. They are directly in front of the lighting box, which looks like its top has the perfect height to stretch one’s legs over."

"O53 and 54: "Ragtime" (May 2012). We paid £30 each for our tickets through the GILT summer offer. Fantastic unobstructed view of the entire stage, good legroom because of the aisle (I'm 6ft tall). The seats were wet due to rainfall but the theatre gave out free seat covers (normal cost is 50p each)."

“O61 and 62: “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” (Chris B). There is a good rake for this theatre and so you can see clearly from most seats. You are a fair way back from the stage but still close enough to feel involved and see all the details of the production. It is quite a large stage and sitting a little further back allows for a better appreciation of the entire stage.”

"O63: "On The Town" (May 2017). Booked O63, and deliberately so. Apparently my upper body is just long enough for me to sit comfortably and still be able to look over the stairwell rail (lucky me, I guess; a lady next to me constantly had to move her head up or down for an unobstructed view). Also, the little tin roof over the stairwell looked and felt solid enough, so I stretched my legs over it from time to time. Since no one complained and it didn’t crash down, I guess it was kind of okay."

"O77: "On The Town" (May 2017), (Tonyloco). Fine, and I was glad I was not down in the front row underneath what looked like quite a high built-out stage."

"P48 and 49: "A Midsummer Nights Dream" (May 2012). We paid £19.32 each through an offer on their official website. Fantastic unobstructed view of the entire stage, fair legroom (I'm 6' tall). It was a little worrying having to walk along the tow to get to our seats because only a few people stood up and I kept thinking that if I lean the wrong way I could topple over onto the rows below (luckily I made it through in one piece by taking it slowly!)."

"Q25, 26, 27: "Jesus Christ Superstar" (August 2017). Good seats, booked high and on that side as my son likes rock music so I thought he’d like to see the band play. No problem with views here although it was hard to get the Last Supper pose (which I knew about as I’d seen the show last summer) and it was seriously hot when the sun shone. I usually go for the second price seats on the right side, low 70s numbers, to avoid the worst of the sunshine."

"Q57 and 58: "Jesus Christ Superstar" (July 2016), (Taljaard). My first visit and wow what an amazing place. Q 57 and 58 were excellent seats. The rake is very good and the sound fantastic. A word of warning, the queues for the ladies toilets were biblical!"

 

Notes
Seats 1257 plus 60 on lawn when used.

Occasional signed performances. Guide dogs welcome, water bowls and dog-sitter provided on request. Radio headsets available for hearing impaired visitors - £5 returnable deposit required - and must be booked in advance. Level access from entrance or car park to auditorium. Gender segregated adapted toilets - ALMOST UNIQUE IN LONDON!!! Other theatres take note. This theatre gets it right. Details of special facilities are available on 0844 826 4242, or fill in the online form at the venue website.

(photo: David Jensen. Bar).

Barbeque and other food available, as well as ice cream and confectionery. Food service ends 5 minutes before performances begin - though dessert can be served at the interval. Alternatively, arrive early and bring your own picnic - the grounds open 90 minutes before evening performances (1 hour before 2.15pm afternoon shows, 30 minutes before other events including mornings), or order one from the box office...

Food can be ordered before your visit, and a voucher is issued with your tickets. Simply exchange this at the theatre bar for your meal on arrival. Call the box office on 0844 826 4242 or see www.openairtheatre.org.uk for details.

(Photo: David Jensen. Picnic Lawn).

2016 catering options: A summer picnic, with or without champagne) for two, with pre-reserved places at each performance. A luxury hamper option is also available.

"Dining Club Packages"  are bookable (and cheaper) in advance than turning up without a reservation on the night. They include appetisers, a main course pre-show and coffee and interval dessert. Pre-show and coffee and interval dessert.

Burger and Fries (veggie option available) vouchers can be bought in advance, a saving on the day of performance fee.

Afternoon tea before performances is available, but must be booked in advance. A glass of Prosecco or champagne can be added at an extra charge.

A Summer Cafe is also available.

A reader notes that there are no refunds for food and drink ordered in advance if a performance is rained off. This includes if you order interval drinks before the show, but the show is cancelled before the interval arrives. Please be aware of this when booking.

A "venue access guide" from the team who created book "Theatremonkey: A Guide to London's West End," is available to download in PDF format by clicking here.

Large bar, and the monkey means huge - the whole width of the theatre, almost!

Ample toilets in separate block. 

This theatre is open to the elements. Performances are rained off only when near storm conditions are reached - if the monsoon strikes with 10 minutes to go until the show ends, chances are it'll keep going... (the monkey found this out in 2011 having experienced it personally). If they do cancel then go to the special box office windows that open onto the foyer area (they are on the pathway that leads from the theatre entrance down into the foyer / bar area), and change your ticket free for another date. If you cannot decide instantly, tickets remain exchangeable indefinitely for any equivalent performance in the future - even years ahead. You can telephone, mail them to the Box Office Manager to make the exchange, or fill in the form on their website. Do note that arrangements to do this can only be made via the actual venue if you telephone, NOT any ticket agency who picks up the telephone for them. Money is never refunded except when the performance is cancelled for reasons OTHER THAN the weather. In this case, only the face value of the tickets is refundable. If you have bought discounted tickets through a promotion, extra restrictions may apply to dates / seats you can exchange to. The box office will advise at time of enquiry.

In the afternoons the box office sell the shaded (higher numbers) side first. This is a relative term and long sleeves and very strong sunblock for face and neck are essential. The sun catches the "low numbers" seats full on - reflecting off glasses etc - as it moves around 4pm.

Theatremonkey reminds parents especially to use very strong sunscreen on their children if attending daytime performances. Even on a very dull day sunburn is a high risk in this theatre. Better still make them wear 'legionnaire hats' covering the head and neck - for protection.

A reader notes,
"Having just returned from a matinee (1.30pm) performance on about the hottest day of the year (30 plus degrees) here are some tips to survive (and enjoy) a performance without barbequing yourself and your kids. First, for once don’t buy in the ‘green’ seats (sorry Theatremonkey). The only seats where you stand of chance of relative shade for the most time are in the two highest numbered seat blocks in the upper tier.* The sun factor is different for everyone – other than the people who sat in lower to mid numbers, bottom and upper tiers, who simply fried for two hours. I sat in N60 and had sun on my back for the first half an hour and my left side for the last fifteen minutes. And even then it was relatively dappled. Bring sunblock and sunglasses and keep water with you. Water was freely available from the bar – and some teachers were even spotted with pitchers in their hands. Above all, bring a hat. It was gobsmacking how many small (and inevitably large) children had no hats – whole classes of them. Wonder how many were sick on the coach home."

*Monkey comment: actually, it repeats as above - NO seats are shaded, it is a "relative" term!

In the evening unless the daytime was 80 degrees plus, a thin pullover is needed, especially in the last rows of the rear block. A reader feels that, "It is flipping freezing in the evenings and blanket would be better advice".  They go on to say that the theatre do not hire blankets out any more because some twit threw them out when they stored them for safe keeping during the last paint job!

After wet weather the seats will be damp. You will be handed a cloth to dry them, but theatremonkey recommends taking your own paper towels and putting a waterproof (old carrier bags or a big bin liner do the job) on the seat before parking yourself in it. In 2010 the monkey noticed the venue selling a cheap waterproof for £3 at their souvenir stand too. It's a sort of thin plastic dustbin liner with a hood bit, and long enough to cover the knees of even the tallest person, though perhaps not vast enough for the very widest girth.

Further note, in 2012 the monkey turned up to find that its allocated seat cushion was the victim of an incontinent pigeon. Just ask an usher, and they can call "a clean up crew" to deal with it.

Do not dress in best clothes for this theatre - they will probably not survive. Please, please visit the place just once though. The atmosphere here is both magic and unique.

 

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Getting to this Theatre
Find this theatre on a Street Map
Nearest Underground Station Buses Car Park
Nearest Underground Station:
Baker Street - Bakerloo Line (brown), Circle Line (yellow), Hammersmith and City Line (light purple), Jubilee Line (silver gray), and Metropolitan Line (dark purple)

The theatre is a long walk from this station. 


GETTING TO THE THEATRE DURING THE DAY AND EVENING:
The station has multiple exits, so, on leaving the station, look around you. If you can, head for the "Baker Street (North)" exit. An "L" shaped corridor between two shops - currently "Boots" on your right / a restaurant on your left, brings you to onto the pavement!

If you miss that exit, follow any exit sign promising to indicate the way to the zoo - these will eventually put you where you want to be on Baker Street!

If you see a blue dome and Madam Tussauds to your left on leaving the station, then ignore them and turn to your right and walk to the street corner. Do not cross any roads, just turn right into Baker Street and meet your friend who got lucky with the other station entrance first time.

If you exit into a short street, head to your left and the busy road. Look for a blue dome and Madam Tussauds to your right on this busy road. Cross it, turn right, walk to the corner, and turn right into Baker Street. There meet your friend who got lucky with the other station entrance first time.

All together now on on the pavement outside the correct exit, face the road (keep the exit behind you) and turn to your right. You will pass the front entrance of the same "Boots the Chemist" shop that ran down the right hand side of the correct  "North" exit corridor.

Walk down Baker Street, passing the London Transport Lost Property Office and continuing to the end of the road. If you pass the Sherlock Holmes Hotel, wrong way.

At the end of Baker Street, cross Allsop Place and walk straight on into the park. 

Cross the road ahead of you, Regents Park Outer Circle, and enter the main park area by the entry to your right.

Inside the park follow the path to the right and cross the nearby footbridge over the water - the first signpost to the theatre is at the start of this bridge, stuck to the wall of it on your right.  Once across the footbridge, turn left and follow the path as it curves and eventually passes a bandstand. Keep going straight on until you reach a road, Regents Park Inner Circle. Cross this road.

Turn to your right and follow the path as it curves to the nearest park entrance - beside a cafe. Take it and follow the path ahead through the garden to the theatre.

The above is complicated, but the route is fairly well signposted. The Open Air Theatre website has a photographic version of this route on their "How To Find Us" page.

Also, please be aware that after late night events, you may be asked to leave the park via the Ring Road rather than through the gardens. If so, turn right on leaving the "Inner Circle" ring road junction with the Outer Circle road to the to the junction with York Gate. Turn right into it, and follow York Gate along, past the Regents College and crossing York Terrace.

On reaching Marylebone Road, turn right. You'll see Madame Tussauds. Walk towards it and past it and Baker Street Station is ahead of you, past the terrace full of gift shop entrances.

 

Buses:
13, 18, 27, 30, 74, 82, 113, 139, 159 to Allsop Place / Baker Street, then follow the directions above.

 

Taxi:
Pre Book. The only alternative is a long walk through the park to Baker Street to hail one there.

 

Car Park:
None nearby. Parking in designated spaces for the disabled is available on the Inner Circle of Regent’s Park close to the stage door, and on Chester Road.

Coaches need a coach permit to enter the park. Call the Royal Parks Agency on 020 7486 7905 at least one week in advance.

 

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