Porgy and Bess at Regent's Park Open Air Theatre

A powerful story of love and betrayal, Porgy and Bess tells of Porgy, a crippled beggar, and his devotion to taming wild Bess to save her from a life of ruin.

By George Gershwin, DuBose and Dorothy Heyward, and Ira Gershwin
Book Adapted by Suzan-Lori Parks Musical Score Adapted by Diedre L. Murray
Celebrated as a landmark piece of American theatre, the Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess runs from 17 July to 23 August.
A powerful story of love and betrayal, Porgy and Bess is celebrated as a landmark piece of American theatre. Porgy, a crippled beggar, is devoted to taming wild Bess and saving her from a life of ruin. Yet new beginnings give way to temptation as Bess is haunted by the demons of her past.
Directed by Timothy Sheader, this musical masterpiece includes ‘I Got Plenty of Nothing’, ‘It Ain’t Necessarily So’, ‘I Loves You Porgy’ and the poignantly beautiful ‘Summertime’, an icon of the Great American Songbook.

Olivier Award-nominee Nicola Hughes plays the role of Bess opposite American actors Rufus Bonds Jr (Porgy), Tony Award-nominee Phillip Boykin (Crown) and Cedric Neal (Sportin’ Life).

Critics have been raving about this show:

Daily Mail – 5 stars

“A pitch-perfect summer’s evening”

“From the moment Jade Ewen sang the opening notes of the first song, Summertime, my neck was tingling.”

Sunday Times – 4 stars

“Timothy Sheader’s stirring take on the Gershwin” classic.

Daily Telegraph – 4 stars

“Electrifying…thrilling and deeply moving”

“It’s a knockout show and by the end has achieved a depth of emotion that is overwhelming in its dramatic intensity.”

The Independent – 4 stars

“The hairs on the back of your neck stand to attention so repeatedly in Timothy Sheader’s gloriously sung production that they are quite worn out by the end.”

“Rufus Bonds Jr brings a heartbreaking dignity to the crippled Porgy.”

Evening Standard - 4 stars

“Sinuous and sophisticated”

“Nicola Hughes excels as Bess”

The Guardian – 4 stars

“Porgy and Bess comes to life in the open air”

“In Timothy Sheader’s sensibly trimmed, finely nuanced and exquisitely sung revival, the lullabies, laments and spirituals shiver in the air like a series of reproaches to a world of hardship and rough justice”

Buy tickets for this event here.

(Rufus Bonds Jr, Phillip Boykin and Cedric Neal are appearing with the permission of UK Equity, incorporating the Variety Artistes’ Federation, pursuant to an exchange program between American Equity and UK Equity.)

Regent's Park Open Air Theatre logo

Set within the beautiful surroundings of a Royal Park, the award-winning Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre is a firm fixture of summer in the city.

Each night an incomparable atmosphere is created by the buzz of people enjoying their theatregoing in every sense: friends setting up hampers on the picnic lawn or filling their glasses with wine as the fairy lights twinkle in the trees.

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