Outdoor Theatre: FAQ

Last night I visited the Regents Park Open Air Theatre for the first time to see Henry V. The full review will be up later in the week after Press Night. But for now, I thought I’d do a little tip sheet of what I learned about going to an outdoor theatre.

Somewhat ironic, given that I work at an outdoor theatre. But I work indoors!

Like the Globe, it’s an open air theatre. Unlike the Globe, it’s set amongst the leafy setting of Regents Park, you have birds singing, dogs barking and apparently the odd concert from Hyde Park being carried across on the wind! One thing the two have in common though is the stage. Because of the natural light, the stage is positioned in such a way that the sun won’t be in the actor’s eyes. That means it’s in your eyes, so…

1) Bring a sunhat

It’ll save you holding your hand up to your face and your arm getting sore! And while you’re at it…

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Source: Metro

2) Bring sunglasses

Again, it’ll save you holding your hand up to your face to make out what’s going on on stage. ‘Oh for a muse of fire…’ WHERE?! And definitely…

 

3) Bring sun tan lotion

I got sunburnt. From 10 minutes in the sun.

Of course, we were fortunate. Not 3 hours earlier, rain was pelting down and we could have had a very different experience. Having seen the rain (and had a fire alarm earlier in the day), I was prepared for this, much more so than the sun. So first, for the rain…

 

4) Bring something with a hood

None of my coats have hoods?! It’s an open air theatre: if it rains, you get wet. So bring something, anything with a hood. But…

 

5) Don’t put up umbrellas

Really? Do I even need to say this? If you’re standing watching a play and someone put an umbrella up in front of you, would you be able to see anything? No. So why do it to the person behind you.

It can also get quite cold, so do…

 

6) Bring layers

As the show started, I was actually quite warm. An hour in and a few of us were rummaging for coats. By the interval, coats, scarfs, gloves and hot chocolates were everywhere! Alternately…

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Source: Bustle

7) Bring a blanket

I was luckily able to sneak one out of the office, so we shared it for the second half. But seriously, take one!

Now we’ve covered what to do if it rains so it doesn’t hamper your experience. But beware it can give you no experience at all…

 

8) Cancelled Performances

If it rains at the Globe, you get wet. The actors get wet. The show is never cancelled because of rain.

At Regents Park Open Air Theatre, you are so exposed to the elements that if it does rain torrentially, they may have to cancel the performance. It’s something to bear in mind and familiarise yourself with their policy, particularly if you’re visiting from abroad.

That tip was to avoid your own disappointment. The next one is to avoid the disappointment and annoyance of others…

 

9) Don’t take photos

Would you take a photo with flash at the National? Would you take a photo with flash during Wicked? No. Of course not. Just because you’re outside, it does not give you free lisence to take photos. You are still seeing live theatre with copyrighted stages etc. There were a few snaps last night, but the stewards were on it at the interval! But don’t let someone else annoy you, because…

 

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Source: Buzzfeed

 

 

10) Have fun!

Seeing an outdoor theatre is always good fun and an amazing experience! So enjoy it: come rain or shine!

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