The start of summer in Theatreland was heralded last night (1 June 2009, previews from 25 May) by the opening of the inaugural production in the new Regent's Park Open Air Theatre season, Much Ado About Nothing.

The company and audience enjoyed glorious weather for the occasion, which was attended by guests including playwright Mark Ravehill and actors Daniel Evans and Tony Selby.

TO SCROLL THROUGH ALL OF  MUCH ADO's 1ST NIGHT PHOTOS,
JUST CLICK ON THE "NEXT >" LINKS BELOW THE FOLLOWING FRAME.
PHOTOS BY DAN WOOLLER FOR WHATSONSTAGE.COM.

The cast features Samantha Spiro and Sean Campion as reluctant lovers Beatrice and Benedick (See News, 20 Apr 2009). They’re joined by: Simon Gregor, Tim Howar, Sarah Ingram, Nigel Cooke and Mark McGee as well as Peter Bramhill, Silas Carson, Eke Chukwu, Chris Jared, Ben Mansfield, Harry Myers, Anthony O’Donnell, Anneika Rose, Annalisa Rossi, Tim Steed, Kate Tydman and David Whitworth.

Running alongside the Bard comedy, from 10 to 28 June 2009 (previews from 5 June), is a new adaptation of The Tempest, re-imagined for children from six years up. Much Ado is then followed by Irina Brown’s new production of The Importance of Being Earnest, featuring Susan Wooldridge as Lady Bracknell, from 8 to 25 July 2009 (previews from 3 July).

Samantha Spiro returns to the Park to take the title role in Jerry Herman’s ten-time Tony Award-winning musical Hello, Dolly!, the season’s final production, from 10 August to 12 September 2009 (previews from 30 July).