Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre’s 2016 season starts with the Chichester transfer of Michael Morpurgo’s Running Wild
The co-production with Chichester Festival Theatre, adapted by Samuel Adamson, will preview from May 13 and plays until June 12.
Running Wild is a story of love, loss, loyalty and of living for the moment. For Will, going to Indonesia isn’t just another holiday with mum. It’s a new start, and the chance to ride an elephant called Oona.
But then the tsunami hit. Charging deep into the jungle, Oona escapes the beach with her young rider desperately clinging on. Miles from civilisation, at first there’s wonder, discovery and tree-top adventures among the orang-utans.
But, as thoughts turn to mum left behind on the beach, tigers prowl, hunger hits, and Will must learn to survive the rainforest.
The part of Will will be shared between three young performers, Joshua Fernandes, Tyler Osborne and Ava Potter, who previously appeared as Scout in the Open Air Theatre’s production of To Kill a Mockingbird.
Also cast are: Hattie Ladbury, Ira Mandela Siobhan, Eric Mallett, Joyce Henderson, Stephen Ventura and Okorie Chukwu.
Puppeteers for the show include Laura Cubitt, Ben Thompson, Michael Taibi, John Leader, Sarah Mardel and Stuart Angell. Fred Davis and Romina Hytten make their professional débuts having been part of the Chichester Festival Youth Theatre production in 2015.
The cast will be completed by an ensemble of 57 young performers, aged nine to 19, from the local community, making this Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre’s largest ever production.
It will be led by co-directors Timothy Sheader, artistic director at the OAT, and Dale Rooks, original director for Chichester Festival Youth Theatre’s production of Running Wild.
The rest of the season shapes up with a new production of Shakespeare’s Henry V (June 17-July 9); Tim Rice & Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Jesus Christ Superstar (July 15–August 27); and Simon Reade’s adaptation of Pride and Prejudice (September 2-17).