Time to sit back and unwind…. hello, Bazlingtons! We hope this stinking summer had put you in good spirit(s) (it is, undoubtedly cocktail/mocktail season) as well as a time for being in the elements! It really has been too nice to be cooped up at computer, and we here at Chez Baz have been making the absolute best of this beautiful weather and this record-breaking summer - but how best to do this and marry our natural disposition to being in lightless black boxes for 10 hours straight with our love of theatre and culture? Well, the UK has thought of that, and borrowed from our Ancient Greek cousins to bring us theatre, art, dance and most importantly fun, in the outside! Check the below for our best picks of what we've enjoyed in the sun before the leaves start falling:
Well, yes, duh. But it really comes into its own in the summer months, with its prime location making it a superb blazing afternoon/chill dusk afternoon activity for the whole family. They have Groundling tickets at £5 all summer long, so there's really no excuse is there, guys. Plus, our own Sarah Bedi highly recommends Emilia currently playing at the Globe until the 1st Sept, AND our own Cath Bailey is crushing it as a Dogeian Bianca in Othello alongside Andre Holland and Mark Rylance which will be gracing the stage until October! Forsooth and lackaday!
Ohh and also: dreamplay player, cello boss and now composer Laura Moody has arranged all the music for Love’s Labours Lost at the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse which is super exciting and a must see - a direct recc from us at Chez Baz. (yes we know it's inside, it might rain, have you seen the UK, cut us a break!)
Regents Open Air Theatre
Running now for over eighty years (wow, right?) Regents Park Open Air Theatre has been a bastion of open air theatre, with a cacophony of shows varying from new writing, children's theatre and musical theatre, too. In a park, surrounded by birdsong and lapping water, and a season that is as varied and colourful as ever, you can't really go wrong can you? With a run that lasts only eighteen weeks, you gotta be quick though!
The Scoop at Tower Bridge
Nestles right by the LCC building on the south side of the river, a stage has quietly been laid for some top theatre to just casually be played by the waterside. Part of a new, innovative 'Summer by the River' scheme, site specific and open air theatre is being given a red carpet in this prime destination, with a varied programme of children's theatre, musicals and dance. Plus free immersive workshops and talks on theatre making from industry professionals. Niice.
Riverside Stage at the National Theatre
Ah, a favourite, this one - be-deckchaired, bars on hand and freshly made wood fired pizza available nearby, this spectacle for your spectacles brings you entertainment of any conceivable genre from every conceivable corner of the globe - from cabaret to puppeteering, from dance to drama, it's all there. Turn to your left and you might catch a beautiful sunset too. Just lovely.
Vegan Nights London
Yes, not technically theatre, but creativity, and then some: Vegan Nights has been running for just about a year now, and since day one, this gathering, now the in its fifth iteration has been the place to be for the faithful, the curious, the naysayers and fans of the Way of the Leaf. DJs (vegan ones obviously) accompany you stuffing your face full of some of the best Vegan fare the UK has to offer, all in one place, where everything looks bad for you but isn't. What's not to love?
Markets Aplenty: Borough, Spitalfields, Portobello...
London is a market town, t'is true - and literally every borough has one - so it's what you're in the mood for: food, antiques, flowers, clothes - London has it all, where the colourful, varied creativity of Londoners near and far is on display. Always a good thing to support, and the bargains are endless.
Notting Hill Carnival - 250 Years of Smithfield Market
Yes, these ones may have just passed but my god they were fun. You'll never see so much glitter and feather in your life in Notting Hill over this auspicious August weekend, and we hear there will be a roller disco in the actual marketplace of Smithfield. So. Nuff said really, isn't it?
There has been so much to do in the capital, and elsewhere, Opera in Holland Park for example, Shakespeare In the Abbey featuring an illustrious cast frolicking in Westminster Abbey, directed by our own Sarah Bedi, no less - and who can forget, when the Trump Baby came to visit and we had a party in Parliament Square - sure enough, it's been a summer of fun in the City's Squares, parks and riverside paths. But also - bring on the lattes and the layers - we have a feeling it's going to be an epic autumn too.
In conclusion - what we love about outside anything is the camaraderie it inspires - unlike travelling into a black box for two hours, there's always that magic feeling of a crowd together in the elements enjoying the same moments, in the same elements, that gives you an ownership of it all somehow. It's epic.
Whatever you do, do it together.
But also, bring a jumper.
Be back soon!