Regent's Park Open Air Theatre

We all know Regent's Park. The Royally commissioned, John Nash designed green space in the centre of London, with elegant white stucco terraces of houses lining its periphery.

Grand gates open onto paths laid out in concentric circles that lead to London Zoo and The Regent's Canal through rose gardens and sports fields.       

But did you know that, if you stray slightly off the beaten, circular path, you'll find an enchanting world that plays host to nightly performances of some of the most magical theatre productions ever written. 

The Regent's Park Open Air Theatre celebrated its 80th birthday this year and marked the occasion by releasing a number of tickets at the  equivalent 1932 price of 5 shillings (or 25 pence in new money).  

We were lucky enough to acquire a couple of tickets and made our way down on a somewhat overcast evening. 

Regardless of the weather, you can't help but feel that you've stepped into some kind of wonderland upon entering the grounds of the theatre. 

A lush glade with a canopy of twinkling fairy lights provides the setting for for a pre-show BBQ. 

Having filled our bellies, we made our way into the auditorium to marvel at the set of Ragtime The Musical. 

All of the theatre's sets feel as thought they're an extension of the trees and shrubbery in the park. When watching a Midsummer Night's Dream, you could easily be in that enchanted dell. 

We watched the first half as the sun set and the fireflies came out before heading to the bar for a Pimms interval. 

Although the weather turned, the actors put on a sterling performance and kept going throughout the drizzly evening. 

The audience clearly had that British Bulldog spirit too and shrugged off the rain with a waterproof poncho and a few more glasses of wine. 

The 'stage-moppers' even had to make a cameo at one point.

We all soldiered on through a performance that was so absorbing, we almost forgot about the showers. 

As the cast took their final bow, I admired the glimmering surroundings feeling like I was in the middle of a fairytale.

A beautiful summer's evening at the Open Air Theatre is a must for visitors and Londoners alike.  Do pop along and help them to celebrate 80 years of one of the most innovative theatre experiences in the capital. 

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