Out in the open - Lord of the Flies heads-up Regent's Park Open Air Theatre 2011 season

What better way to escape the hustle, bustle and rustle of London's free papers shoved in your face during the commuting rush-hour than a bit of pure theatre?

The Regent's Park Open Air Theatre is a permanent auditorium set in the grounds of one of the capital's most iconic green-spaces and holds over 1000 in capacity. Its two directors, William Village and Timothy Sheader pride themselves on their annual summer season - and so they should, looking at the 2011 line-up which will, once again, feature four classic stories from the archives of renowned fiction.

All reduced price previews cost £29/£34 and all remaining full price shows cost £34/£39, exclusive of fees, unless stated.

Lord of The Flies

William Golding's chilling vision will be the first production at the Open Air Theatre this year, adapted for the stage by Nigel Williams. A class of schoolboys become marooned on a desert island after a plane crash and set about ensuring their survival, either by fair means or foul. The group descends into a bitter struggle as the boys soon regress into primitive actions. There are reduced price previews from 19th to 25th May if booked before 30th April and the run continues until 18th June.

The Beggars Opera - Painting: William Hogarth
 
Painting: William Hogarth

The Beggar's Opera

The remaining three productions start with John Gay's uncompromising "The Beggar's Opera", a sinister tale of lies and deceit between a love triangle comprised of two women and a highwayman. Set in London's seedy underworld, the production also features traditional folk-songs from the era as well as an underlying of total financial corruption. Hang on a second - doesn't this sound all too familiar? Again, there are previews from 23rd to 28th June and the production (directed by Lucy Bailey) continues until 23rd July.

Pericles - Image: www.openairtheatre.org
 

Pericles

Aimed fairly and squarely at the whole family is this Shakespeare tale, featuring a young prince (Pericles) who yearns to see the world. He does so by embarking on an adventure and odyssey of the sea and, in doing so, reaches manhood and finds love. This updated version will run in preview from 2nd to 10th July and continues until 23rd July. To reflect the family-feel, seats are just £12 for previews and £14 for all others.

Crazy For You
 

Crazy For You

To round off the season the theatre will present the fabulous Gershwin musical, "Crazy For You". Familiar songs such as "I Got Rhythm" and "Embraceable You" permeate the feel-good story, produced by the same team that brought you "Hello Dolly". Previews run from 28th July to 6th August (priced from £32.50) - the show then continues until 10th September.

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