City Lit Blog

Go alfresco this summer

Story added 5th Jun 2017

Serpentine Pavilion 2017, Designed by Francis Kéré, Design Render, Exterior ©Kéré Architecture


A look at London's best outdoor events this summer

Picture your perfect summer evening in London.

Perhaps it includes a gentle stroll through one of the city’s celebrated parks, lapping up the sun and enjoying the company of good friends. All you need to complete this picture-perfect scenario is the electric atmosphere provided by a live, alfresco performance – something that the capital has increasingly excelled in delivering over the last decade; from nightly live theatre in Regent’s Park to intimate, crowd-pleasing performances at Shakespeare’s Globe.

Open air theatre has been a cornerstone of London’s cultural scene for centuries, with many of the capitals’ earliest theatres (including the Globe) mimicking the design of Ancient Greek amphitheatres to offer a truly intimate spectator experience.

Today, immersive open air performances from theatre, to opera, comedy and dance, continue to thrill Londoners throughout the summer months. Here are just a few of London’s open air highlights coming this summer.

Serpentine Gallery Summer Pavilion

Diébédo Francis Kéré, an award-winning architect from Burkino Faso, has been commissioned to design the Serpentine Pavilion 2017 at the heart of Hyde Park; the temporary pavilion will be open from 23 June to 8 October.


Jesus Christ Superstar (Open Air Theatre, Regent’s Park)

11 August 2017 – 16 September 2017
Tickets from £25;

Voted Best Musical at the Evening Standard Awards, this popular production returns briefly to Regent’s Park, offering audiences one final chance to see it in its original home.


Zazà (Opera Holland Park)

From 18 July; selected dates until 28 July
Tickets from £18;

Leoncavallo’s deeply affecting Zazà is a long-awaited addition to Opera Holland Park, falling as it does into the tradition of late, romantic Italian opera from the ‘verismo’ repertoire. The opera follows the life of Parisian music hall singer, Zazà: her career, her eccentric friends and her passionate love affair with Milio Dufresne, an acquaintance to whom she grows hopelessly and devotedly attached.


King Lear (Globe Theatre)

10 August 2017 – 14 October 2017
Tickets from £5;

King Lear has three daughters, but no sons. Boldly he makes a decision to divide his kingdom among his children, but fails to anticipate the consequences of his actions. Nancy Meckler brings her charismatic directing style to the Globe for the first time.


Oliver Twist (Open Air Theatre, Regent’s Park

Until  5 August 2017
Tickets from £18; 

Discover the original story of Victorian London's most famous child with Oliver Twist created for everyone aged six and over. Adapted by Anya Reiss.

Upcoming courses at City Lit….

Inspired to unleash your own artistic potential? City Lit have a number of great art and design anf performance art courses for budding actors and artists.

Browse art and design courses at City Lit.

Browse performance arts courses at City Lit.