London’s Free Open-Air Theatre Summer Season at the Scoop

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz and King Arthur
8th August – 2nd September 2018

We love a freebie, and, let’s be honest here, who doesn’t?

Now freebies come in all shapes and sizes and this one is a big one – not just one theatre show, but two, both for you to enjoy during 3 1/2 weeks in August.

London’s Free Open-Air Theatre returns to The Scoop for its 15th year with new adaptations of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz and King Arthur – completely free of charge.

The theatre season is part of London Bridge City’s Summer By The River festival and you can come and watch the shows every evening from Wednesday to Sunday from August 8th. 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.

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.

This year, two much-loved stories will be brought to life in the performance space next to City Hall right next to the Thames. King Arthur, based on Sir Thomas Malory’s telling of the famous legend, is adapted and directed by Phil Willmott, the first time London’s Free Open-Air Theatre is showcasing 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.

King Arthur:

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 they present a truly British tale of courage, romance and adventure.

We all know the story of Merlin, King Arthur, Queen Guinevere, Sir Lancelot and the Knights of the Round Table, celebrated in books and films like Disney’s THE SWORD IN THE STONE, the Broadway musical CAMELOT, the Monty Python spoof SPAMALOT and many other adaptations.

Gods & Monsters Theatre Company return to the poetry, majesty and magic of Sir Thomas Malory’s 1485 retelling in the new dramatization 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!


  • 19.30 – 22.00 Wednesday – Saturday
  • 17.30 – 20.00 Sunday
  • 17th August 19.30 captioned performance
  • 25th August 18.30 earlier relaxed performance
  • 31st August 18.30 audio described performance


And talking of witches, you will all love the second play, which is truly one for all the family.

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz:

The beloved story of a little girl called Dorothy who finds herself and her dog Toto stranded alone the Land of Oz, far away from her home in Kansas after being scooped up by a tornado. She encounters a scarecrow, a tin man and a cowardly lion and they set off down the Yellow Brick Road together to make their individual dreams come true coming across The Wicked Witch of the West, flying Monkeys, Munchkins and an eccentric wizard. This is an adventure tale that will thrill children as well as anyone with a brain, a warm heart and a little courage.


  • 18.00 – 19.00 Wednesday – Saturday
  • 16.00 – 17.00 Sunday
  • 17th August 18.00 – captioned performance
  • 25th August 16.30 – relaxed performance
  • 26th August 14.00 – Parents & Babies performance (extra matinee)
  • 31st August 18.00 – Audio Described Performance

There is no 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 the shows throughout the run.

All events are free and are accessed on a first come, first served basis, unless otherwise stated.

London’s Free Open-Air Theatre

London’s Free Open-Air Theatre (presented by Gods & Monsters Theatre company) is a UK registered charity supported by generous individual donations and by trusts and philanthropic foundations, including London Bridge City and Swire foundation.

The theatre company aims to enable all people, irrespective of age, financial circumstances, physical ability or background, to access stimulating and entertaining free theatre.

The company receives no ongoing public subsidy and relies on the generous donations each year to continue producing this epic annual event. Audiences average 40,000 each summer, many of whom have never experienced the theatre before.

Summer By The River

London Bridge City is a bustling riverside destination incorporating More London, Hay’s Galleria, Cottons Centre and No. 1 London Bridge. A changing programme of arts, entertainment and events, world class food and drink against a backdrop of great architecture.

With a packed schedule of exciting outdoor events and entertainment, Summer By The River is running from Friday 1st June to Sunday 2nd September is the largest free outdoor festival in London.

With stunning views of Tower Bridge, The Tower of London and the iconic City skyline, Summer by the River is the perfect place to celebrate all things summer. This year the site will be transformed to take on a vibrant English country garden theme.





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