Running Wild at Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre
The beautiful Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre reopens its doors this week for the start of its 2016 summer season of live performance and cinema screenings. Running Wild, the stage adaption of a novel by Michael Morpurgo (author of War Horse) kicks off proceedings and marks a first for the theatre introducing an ensemble of young performers drawn from the local community.
Running Wild tells the story of the young Lilly (or Will depending on the performance) who loses her mother on holiday in Indonesia during the Boxing Day tsunami of 2004. Managing to escape the disaster and ride to safety on the back of Oona the elephant, Lilly finds herself immersed in the rainforest and learning to adapt to the wild conditions of her new home. However, things take a turn for the worse when she gets captured by poachers and begins to learn of the true evils lurking in the forest.
Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre is the perfect magical setting for this production with its atmospheric lighting and clouds of blossom floating in the air. Surrounded by trees, the stage becomes a rainforest and the actors transform into the sea and the trees, transporting the audience across the world to Indonesia, despite the chilly English breeze. The animals complete the striking visual spectacle in the form of stunningly crafted puppets, sliding and careering around the auditorium under the control of talented puppeteers.
Mention must be made of the incredible performance given by the young Ava Potter in the role of Lilly whose talent greatly surpasses her years. A joy to watch, it is refreshing to see a boisterous young girl taking the lead and effectively challenging gender stereotypes.
Running Wild has everything needed to keep kids of all ages captivated from start to finish and is underwritten with a poignant message to heighten awareness of the serious risks facing our planet’s rainforests. Heartbreaking yet uplifting, this is a show for young and old alike, and a gem that shouldn’t be missed this summer. Wrap up warm and head to Regent’s Park before the 12th June for a unique and unforgettable theatre experience.
Running Wild is on at the Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre from 13th May until 12th June 2016, for further information or to book visit here.