A Dickens of a 2017 season at Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre

Declan Bennett, Jesus Christ Superstar. Images Johan Persson.
Declan Bennett, Jesus Christ Superstar. Images Johan Persson.

The award-winning Jesus Christ Superstar returns and two plays by Charles Dickens feature in the 2017 season announced by Regents Park Open Air Theatre this morning.

The season opens in May with the musical On The Town (19 May – 1 July) directed and choreographed by Drew McOnie.

On The Town, the biggest dance musical ever staged at the Open Air Theatre, has music by Leonard Bernstein and book and lyrics by Betty Comden and Adolph Green and includes the hit song New York, New York.

McOnie created the choreography for Jesus Christ Superstar. His work on In The Heights won him the Olivier Award as Best Theatre Choreographer. He has also choreographed Jekyll and Hyde and The Lorax (Old Vic), Bugsy Malone (Lyric Hammersmith) and Hairspray and Chicago (Curve, Leicester).

He is currently directing and choreographing Strictly Ballroom at West Yorkshire Playhouse.

Bringing two of Charles Dickens’s most popular stories out in the open, Dickens Uncovered celebrates the greatest storyteller of London life.

Timothy Sheader directs A Tale of Two Cities (7 July – 8 August), a new play by Matthew Dunster adapted from the original novel by Charles Dickens.


“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times; it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness; it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair; we had everything before us, we had nothing before us.”

Sound familiar? How much more do those in power think Europe’s poor can take? When will the people take to the streets of the cities and roar enough is enough?

The theatre builds on its success with making Shakespeare plays family-friendly by staging Anya Reiss’ new adaptation of Oliver Twist, (17 July – 5 August). Recommended for ages six and over, this will play daytime performances alongside A Tale of Two Cities.

Following its overwhelming sell-out success in 2016, Jesus Christ Superstar returns for just 41 performances (11 August – 16 September), giving audiences one final chance to see the production in its original home.

Directed by Timothy Sheader the production won the BBC Radio 2 Audience Award for Best Musical in the Evening Standard Awards and has received 15 nominations in the BroadwayWorld Awards, including Theatrical Event of the Year.

Meanwhile the theatre’s Pride and Prejudice production continues on its UK tour.

Tuesday 17 – Saturday 21 January, BATH Theatre Royal
Tuesday 24 – Saturday 28 January, HIGH WYCOMBE Swan
Tuesday 31 January – Saturday 4 February, CANTERBURY Marlowe Theatre
Tuesday 7 – Saturday 11 February, LIVERPOOL Playhouse
Tuesday 14 – Saturday 18 February, NEWCASTLE Theatre Royal
Tuesday 21 – Saturday 25 February, CARDIFF Wales Millennium Centre

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