The Regent's Park Open Air Theatre production of the new musical 101 Dalmatians, which was scheduled to begin performances May 15 at the outdoor venue, will no longer be part of the 2021 season due to the coronavirus pandemic. (The production, originally announced for May 2020, had previously been postponed due to the ongoing health crisis.)
The decision follows the current COVID-19 restrictions, expected to still be in place when rehearsals are due to begin in March, and the likelihood that any easing of social distancing during the planned performance period will be minimal.
Artistic Director Timothy Sheader said in a statement, “Although we will be contacting all ticket holders to provide them with a full refund, we are exploring all options with our co-producers, writers, and creative team and very much hope to be able to announce new plans for the production in due course.”
Olivier nominee Kate Fleetwood, who was Tony-nominated for her portrayal of Lady Macbeth opposite Patrick Stewart in the 2008 revival of the Shakespeare classic, had been announced to play Cruella de Vil. Based on Dodie Smith’s original story set in Regent’s Park, 101 Dalmatians has a book by Zinnie Harris and music and lyrics by Douglas Hodge. Artistic Director Sheader was scheduled to helm the staging.
The Open Air Theatre’s 2021 season will now open with Romeo and Juliet (June 26–July 24), followed by Carousel (July 30–September 18).