Theatre News

Jesus Christ Superstar to be screened live on Regent's Park Open Air Theatre's lawn

Anyone wanting to be near the action – here’s your chance

An artist's impression of the show in action
An artist's impression of the show in action

Regent's Park Open Air Theatre has announced it will be screening its production of Jesus Christ Superstar on its lawn.

The principle is similar to that of Murray Mound at Wimbledon – on top of staging the show in front the venue audience, from 19 to 30 August the show will be relayed 'live' to its adjacent outdoor space where a designated number of socially distanced audience members can sit and watch the piece in action.

All tickets for the screened version are £20, with up to 5000 spaces available over the course of the two weeks in August.

According to the venue: 'high definition cameras will relay the production to an LED screen delivering a vivid visual experience at both matinee and evening performances.'

Announced last month, the 90-minute run of Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber's show will have socially distanced audiences and cast members.

Many roles in the production will be shared with different performers taking on different dates. Declan Bennett and Pepe Nufrio will share the part of Jesus, with Ricardo Afonso and Tyrone Huntley as Judas. They are joined by Maimuna Memon and Anoushka Lucas as Mary, David Thaxton (Pilate), Shaq Taylor (Herod), Ivan De Freitas (Caiaphas), Nathan Amzi (Annas), Phil King (Peter), Cedric Neal (Simon), and Genesis Lynea, Rosa O'Reilly, Elliotte Williams-N'Dure as the Soul Singers.

Completing the cast are Daniel Bailey, Dale Evans, Rosie Fletcher, Josh Hawkins, Stevie Hutchinson, Billy Nevers, Charlotte Riby, Tinovimbanashe Sibanda, Barnaby Thompson and Tara Young.

The creative team features Will Burton CDG and David Grindrod CDG (casting), Lee Curran (lighting design), Tom Deering (musical supervisor), Barbara Houseman (associate director, voice and text), Drew McOnie (choreography), Nick Lidster for Autograph (sound design), Tom Scutt (design), Timothy Sheader (director), Kate Waters (fight director) and Denzel Westley-Sanderson (co-director).

The piece begins its run on 14 August. Capacity in the venue has been cut from 1256 seats to 390 to allow for socially distanced performances.

William Village, executive director, commented: "With the support of everyone involved, we are delighted to have found a way to enable an extended audience to experience live theatre this summer. Government guidance has required us to reduce the capacity of our auditorium by over two-thirds. For an unfunded theatre, this makes financing the ambitious, award-winning, large-scale musical reinventions for which we are known almost impossible.

"The live relay will help us attempt to make this revival economically viable, but innovative add-ons such as these are not a panacea for the industry. The future of theatre across the country and the livelihoods of our world-class creative talent and workforce remain in serious peril. Theatres urgently need to be allowed to open safely at full capacity as other industries have begun to, so that we can fully play our part in the nation's economic and social recovery."

Selected comedy events will also have the screening option.