Rarely performed, Gershwin’s magnum opus juxtaposes a bleak story of poverty, death and drug addiction with a richly complex score. The work is a big ask and perhaps this is why it rarely attempted on the London stage, yet Timothy Sheader’s production for the Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre did not disappoint. It was a grey Monday evening when I was transported to the palpable heat and poverty of Catfish Row where we met Bess, a young, vulnerable women addicted to drugs and dependent on men around her to fund her habit and give her a place to stay. Her current sponsor is Crown, a huge terrifying man with whom she has a volatile relationship. Crown kills a man and goes into hiding and Bess moves in with Porgy, an isolated cripple. They fall in love but Bess struggles to free herself from her old life.