The theatre on its present site has been a permanent feature in Regent's Park since 1932, when three performances of Twelfth Night were staged to great acclaim. Ever since, summertime Shakespeare has become an established and much-loved highlight of Park life and of London's theatrical calendar.
Between 1932 and 1960, Robert Atkins and Sydney Carroll produced almost all of Shakespeare's works here, as well as specially commissioned plays by authors including George Bernard Shaw. Audiences sat on deck-chairs for 6/- apiece, with those in the back row needing binoculars to watch the action! In 1962, David Conville, the present Chairman, took over the running of the theatre and founded the resident New Shakespeare Company. The fully raked auditorium was built in 1975, incorporating 1187 seats as well as bar and restaurant facilities to replace the old 'supper tent'.
2000 saw the theatre re-open with wonderful improvements to the front of house areas - an extended picnic lawn, a new dedicated sponsors' building and replanting to enhance the magic of this beautiful venue. There are now better amenities for audiences, sponsors, performers and staff, and in 2001 we completed the renovation of the seating in the auditorium.