Free Open Air Theatre Season 2019
London theatre news: Friday 3 May 2019
Family - Open Air Theatre - Seasons - Shakespeare
London's Free Open Air Theatre Season is back for another year in the stunning setting of The Scoop on the bank of the Thames, with 2 shows between 7 August and 1 September.
Photo c Sheila Burnett, 2011 - Around The World in Eighty Days
Right next to the banks of the Thames, and a stone's throw from Tower Bridge, there's an open air theatre called The Scoop.
It's an appropriate name as it almost looks like a giant builder has come along and literally removed a huge scoopful of the ground to create what is a highly impressive venue.
And it's here where, each summer, London's Free Open Air Theatre Season
takes place - and when we say FREE - that's exactly what we mean.
There's no charge to watch the shows and no booking - just turn up on the day you want to see a show and that's all there is to it.
And there's plenty of space with room for 1,000 people at every performance.
2019 sees the 16th year of summer seasons at The Scoop and it features the world premiere of 'The Sea Queen' - a family show about the Irish pirate Grainne O'Malley - and Shakespeare's popular comedy 'Twelfth Night'.
The season runs from Wednesday 7 August to Sunday 1 September with both shows playing nightly from Wednesday to Sunday.
These two plays and their two respective heroines, Grainne and Viola, will place the stories of strong, independent women at the heart of the season's programme.
It will also be the first year that one of Shakespeare's plays has been performed.
Telling classic narratives in modern ways, with strong female role models, is central to the approach being taken by this season's director, Rae Mcken.
Over the past decade, through her work with her own company 'Custom/Practice', Rae has been at the forefront of presenting classical theatre with diverse casts that better reflect the makeup our cosmopolitan melting pot city.
Through her work with 'Artistic Directors of the Future', Rae also promotes greater diversity in the next generation of artistic leaders.
Here are some details about the season's shows ...
The Sea Queen
Join Grainne O'Malley; pirate, chieftain and Irish queen of the seas, as she sets sail on her greatest adventure yet.
Her family are prisoners, held in the dark dungeons of Dublin Castle by the evil Sir Richard Bingham.
To save their lives she must embark for London, overcoming storms, buccaneers, and mutiny, before finally facing her implacable foe; England's Virgin Queen, Elizabeth I.
Based on the true story of Ireland's legendary 16th century heroine, this voyage is for anyone who has dreamed of an ocean adventure.
Come dance a jig, sing a sea shanty and live the life of a sea queen.
Written by Daniel Winder.
Twelfth Night by William Shakespeare
Experience Shakespeare's famous tale of unrequited love in all its hilarious and heartbreaking splendour.
Separated from her twin Sebastian in a shipwreck, Viola must fend for herself in a strange land.
Havoc ensues through mistaken identity and heartache as Viola falls in love with Orsino, who dotes on Olivia, who falls for Viola but is idolised by Malvolio ...
About the season
London's Free Open-Air Theatre Season began in 2003, and the project continues to make classic texts accessible and enjoyable to all, irrespective of age, education, ethnicity, financial means or physical ability.
In 2017, Iris Theatre took over the general management of London's Free Open Air Theatre Season.
An award-winning theatre company led by Daniel Winder, Iris Theatre are known for producing award winning, vibrant and accessible site-specific and outdoor theatre, and celebrate their 10th anniversary this year with productions of 'Hamlet' and 'The Hunchback of Notre Dame'.
About the venue
The Scoop at London Bridge City is a sunken amphitheatre on the south bank of the Thames, between London Bridge and Tower Bridge next to City Hall.
'The Sea Queen' and 'Twelfth Night' will be a central part of the London Bridge City Summer Festival that takes place annually from June to September on the banks of the River Thames around City Hall with plenty of events, bars and eateries throughout the summer for all the family.
To be announced
Director: Rae Mcken
Set & Costume Design: Mayou Trikerioti
Sound Design: Matthew Bugg
Presented by Gods and Monsters Theatre in association with Iris Theatre
Creative Producer: Suzanna Rosenthal
Adjacent to City Hall
London Bridge City
London SE1 2DB
Wednesday 7 August - Sunday 1 September 2019
Friday 16 August:
Captioned performance (both shows)
Saturday 24 August:
Relaxed Performance (both shows)
Sunday 25 August:
Parent & Baby performance (both shows)
Post Show Talks
Join the team for post show discussions.
Sunday 11, 18 and 25 August 19:45 - 20:30.
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