Free Open Air Theatre near London Bridge

London’s Free Open Air Theatre returns to The Scoop at Summer by the River festival for its 15th year this summer with new adaptations of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz and King Arthur, offering unforgettable and totally accessible experiences in the heart of the city – completely free of charge.

Continuing London’s Free Open-Air Theatre Season, the performances aim to give a new generation free access to the city’s finest theatrical artists, and promise an epic adventure for audiences of all ages and backgrounds.

Amidst iconic buildings beside the Thames, an oasis will appear each evening in which much-loved stories and characters will come to life. King Arthur, based on Sir Thomas Malory’s telling of the famous legend, is adapted and directed by Phil Willmott. This will be the first time that London’s Free Open Air Theatre has showcased enthralling British mythology. The Wonderful Wizard of Oz is an adaptation by Phil Willmott of the novel by Frank L Baum, directed by Justin Murray and Phil Willmott.

The theatre season is part of the London Bridge City Summer By The River festival and it runs every evening from Wednesday to Sunday from the 8th August. The final performances will take place on Sunday 2nd September. Accompanying the main theatre season, there will be a diverse programme of community activities including workshops, concerts and talks to be announced.

Performances

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz:

  • 18.00 – 19.00 Wednesday – Saturday
  • 16.00-17.00 Sunday
  • 14.00 – 15.00 26 August, Parents & Babies performance

The story of how a little girl called Dorothy and her dog Toto, a scarecrow, a tin man and a cowardly lion set off down The Yellow Brick Road to make their dreams come true is one of the most beloved kids adventure stories of all time and an undisputed American classic.

Add a wicked witch, flying Monkeys, Munchkins and an eccentric wizard and you’ve the perfect recipe for a tale that will thrill children under ten and anyone with a brain, a warm heart and a little courage.

King Arthur:

  • 19.30 – 22.00 Wednesday – Saturday
  • 17.30-20.00 Sunday

For over a decade Gods & Monsters Theatre Company has shared the great myths and legends of the world with Londoners in award winning productions. To celebrate its 15th anniversary we present a truly British tale of courage, romance and adventure that will resonate with diverse audiences from right across the capital.

The characters of Merlin, King Arthur, Queen Guinevere, Sir Lancelot and the Knights of the Round Table are beloved the world over, celebrated in the popular book and Disney film THE SWORD IN THE STONE, the Broadway musical CAMELOT, the Monty Python spoof SPAMALOT and countless literary, TV and film adaptations.

For a thrilling new dramatisation we return to the poetry, majesty and magic of Sir Thomas Malory’s 1485 retelling of the epic story and focus on the love triangle between a king, a queen and a handsome young knight.

Exploring the nature of kingship, loyalty and honour, it’s the captivating tale of an unlikely new king taught by the wizard Merlin to bravely live, love and rule with compassion… and to defeat a witch!

Audiences don’t need to book for any of the performances, and with 1000 seats available for each night there are plenty of chances to catch one or all of the shows throughout the run.

All events are free and are accessed on a first come, first served basis. There is no need to register unless otherwise stated.