Officially, Spring is about to spring, but the chilly weather suggests otherwise and the poor daffodils are blooming whatever happens.
But also blooming is London’s theatre – here are ten productions our Editorial Staff are looking forward to seeing in March.
After The Fall
“It is a text written to come out of the dark” said Samuel Beckett of his mysterious, tragicomic first radio play All That Fall. In this production, by internationally acclaimed director Max Stafford-Clark, audiences will be blindfolded as the cast move about them in the auditorium, their voices joined by a surround-sound design by Dyfan Jones. It plays at Bristol Old Vic from 8 to 12 March and Wilton’s Music Hall from 22 March to 9 April 2016.
All That Fall is one of Beckett’s most accessible and naturalistic plays, and unmistakably Irish – it was inspired by his native Foxrock. A bawdy and unpredictable tale, it charts the faltering journey of elderly Maddy Rooney as she ventures along a country road to surprise her blind husband at the train station for his birthday treat. Along the way she is helped and hindered by a series of colourful characters; but when she is united with her husband, she is confronted with a strange and harrowing event that makes him seem a stranger.
First broadcast in 1957, All That Fall was the first time Beckett centred his work on a female protagonist. Tony Award-winner Bríd Brennan (Dancing at Lughnasa) will play the unforgettably outspoken and funny Maddy Rooney, plagued with rheumatism and defiant in her small, strained act of love. This production was created for, and co-produced with, the Happy Days Enniskillen International Beckett Festival.
Booking information: http://wiltons.org.uk/
Bad Girls is a fresh, funny and original British musical, based on characters from the award winning and hugely popular television drama: Shell Dockley, Denny Blood, Nikki Wade and, of course, the two Julies!
Set in the fictional HMP Larkhall, it’s the story of new idealistic Wing Governor Helen Stewart and her battles with the entrenched old guard of Officer Jim Fenner and his sidekick Sylvia Hollamby.
A tragic death on the wing – in which Fenner is implicated – leads to an agry protest from the women and forces Helen and Nikki to their opposite sides of the bars. But when it is clear that Helen stands to lose her job over Fenner’s misdeeds, the race is on for the women to nail Jim once and for all.
A gritty musical for all theatre lovers, Bad Girls is directed by Will Keith and Sasha Regan, with musical direction from Alex Bellamy.
Booking information: http://www.uniontheatre.biz/bad-girls/4591647751
The Kings Head Theatre presents Cosi by Louis Nowra directed by previous Artistic Director of Sydney Theatre Company, Wayne Harrison
Young theatre director Lewis is staging a production of Mozart’s comic opera Così fan tutte. The catch? The cast are patients from a mental institution, none of whom can speak Italian… or sing. Can this unlikely cohort, including an obsessive-compulsive, a manic depressive and a junkie, pull it off? Or will a patient with a penchant for pyromania spoil all the fun?
As Vietnam War protests rage outside and Lewis confronts the enormity of his task, he begins to realise the frightening and attractive power of madness, politics, theatre and love.
Playing in tandem with Mozart’s opera, Cosi Fan Tutti, this is a world first.
Booking information: https://kingsheadtheatre.ticketsolve.com/shows/873542777/events?TSLVq=56088442-ccde-4207-baf6-a25052e7a97e&TSLVp=f1d9b299-9c9a-47ac-8931-5c98f79a337b&TSLVts=1456683859&TSLVc=ticketsolve&TSLVe=kingsheadtheatre&TSLVrt=Safetynet&TSLVh=84c37e6fdca3dcbdf9dc6e35ce158ebb
It’s 1977, and Martin, Jack, Michael and Carol are starting out into the future. Around a popular birdwatching spot overlooking the mouth of the Tees, their lives intertwine to create an uplifting portrait of human hope and vulnerability.
A friendship, a marriage, a holiday, a death – German Skerries fills the stage with the meetings and departures that make us human.
Booking information: https://www.orangetreetheatre.co.uk/whats-on/german-skerries
An African country teeters on the edge of civil war. A society prepares to drive out its colonial present and claim an independent future. Racial tensions boil over. Tshembe, returned home from England for his father’s funeral, finds himself in the eye of the storm.
A family and a nation fall apart under the pressure to determine their own identity as this brave, illuminating and powerful play confronts the hope and tragedy of revolution.
Written eleven years after A Raisin in the Sun, Lorraine Hansberry’s final drama is an unknown masterpiece of the American stage and a highly theatrical search for the soul of post-colonial Africa.
Les Blancs marks the National Theatre debut of the multi-award-winning director Yaël Farber, whose productions include The Crucible (Old Vic) and the internationally-acclaimed Mies Julie and Nirbhaya.
Booking information: http://www.nationaltheatre.org.uk/shows/les-blancs
Miss Atomic Bomb
Welcome to Las Vegas in 1952, where every mushroom cloud has a silver lining and fallout is your friend.
As the US military proudly tests its atomic bombs within sight of the Vegas strip, tourists are flocking into town to cheer the blasts and see who will be crowned the Miss Atomic Bomb beauty queen.
But in the midst of this euphoria, farm girl Candy’s (Florence Andrews) sheep have mysteriously died, her fashionista friend Myrna (Catherine Tate) is designing clothes for pigs, young soldier Joey (Dean John-Wilson) has deserted the army, and his hapless hotel manager brother Lou (Simon Lipkin) desperately needs an atomic gimmick. In a city controlled by the military and the mob, time is running out for our four friends.
Booking information: https://www.stjamestheatre.co.uk/theatre/miss-atomic-bomb/
Reasons To Be Happy
Three years after a very difficult break-up, Steph and Greg are wondering if they can start over again. The trouble is, she’s now married to someone else and he’s started a relationship with Carly – her best friend. Meanwhile, Carly’s ex-husband Kent, wants her back, even more so when he hears about her new romance with Greg – his best friend.
With emotions running high, all four soon find themselves entangled in a web of hidden agendas, half-truths and confusion as they desperately search for that most elusive of goals: happiness.
Booking information: http://www.hampsteadtheatre.com/whats-on/2016/reasons-to-be-happy/
Harold Pinter’s groundbreaking classic comes to The Old Vic in a new production directed by Matthew Warchus.
Disturbed handyman Aston has invited an irascible tramp to stay with him at his brother’s jumbled London flat. At first it seems that the manipulative guest will take advantage of his vulnerable host. But when Aston’s brother Mick arrives, an enigmatic power struggle emerges between the three men that is in equal parts menacing, touching and darkly comic.
Timothy Spall is one of Britain’s best-loved and most talented character actors. Most recently he has received wide acclaim for his role as J.M.W Turner in Mike Leigh’s Mr Turner (2014), for which he won seven international awards, including the Cannes Film Festival Best Actor Award.
Booking information: http://www.oldvictheatre.com/whats-on/2016/the-caretaker/
Two men. Two lonely hotel rooms. An adjoining door…One of them is a killer… one of them wants to die… What could possibly go wrong?Sean Foley directs his darkly hilarious adaptation of Francis Veberʼs classic French farce.The Painkiller will be the fourth production in the Plays at the Garrick season and will unite Kenneth Branagh and Rob Brydon, who will star in this comic tour-de-force alongside Claudie Blakley, Marcus Fraser, Mark Hadfield and Alex Macqueen.
Booking information: http://www.branaghtheatre.com/the-painkiller/index.php
Two couples. Friendship, suspicion, deceit….and the truth.
Following last year’s phenomenal success of The Father by Florian Zeller (now having its second West End season) and The Mother (a sold out season at the Tricycle), Zeller’s play The Truth now comes to London.
French novelist and playwright Zeller has been awarded the prestigious Prix Interallié and two Molière Awards for his work. The Truth is the third of Zeller’s plays to be adapted by Christopher Hampton and is directed by Lindsay Posner
Florian Zeller is a French novelist and playwright. His work has been translated into several languages. Zeller wrote his first novel, Neiges artificielles (Artificial Snow), when he was twenty-two years old. His second novel, Les Amants du n’importe quoi (Lovers or Something Like It), was well received but it was his third novel, La Fascination du
The cast includes Frances O’Connor, Alexander Hansen and Tanya Franks.
Booking information: https://www.menierchocolatefactory.com/Online/default.asp?doWork::WScontent::loadArticle=Load&BOparam::WScontent::loadArticle::article_id=98F48526-F612-497D-AD7A-376B4BEF3735&sessionlanguage=&SessionSecurity::linkName