With Spring in full swing, but the possibility of the odd snowflake still real, here are ten productions our Editorial Staff are looking forward to seeing in May.

A Midsummer’s Night Dream

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Emma Rice’s inaugural production as Artistic Director of the Globe Theatre is likely to divide opinion but it is sure to be worth seeing, especially as Rice promises the production will come “crashing into the Globe’s magical setting. Naughty, tender, transgressive and surprising, it promises to be a festival of theatre.”

Shakespeare gets a shakeup – with Helenus rather than Helena and cabaret star Meow Meow doing double duty as Titania and Hippolyta.

Bookings

Devilish!

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New musical Devilish! was inspired by John Ruskin’s remark that an angel appearing on earth would be shot on sight. H.G Wells wrote a novel called The Wonderful Visit based on this observation but now a new team of writers offer their take on this premise for the twenty-first century.

An angel crash-lands in Clapham. He is embraced by mercenary forces in the madness of metropolitan London, 2016. How long before he is corrupted by the devilish delights on offer?

It’s billed as Pinocchio meets The Picture of Dorian Gray – with jazz hands! – and this cartoonish comedy features a score crammed with upbeat songs aiming to prove that the devil doesn’t have all the best tunes.

Bookings

How The Other Half Loves

Tamzin Outhwaite (Teresa Phillips) and Jason Merrells (Bob Phillips) in How The Other Half Loves by Alan Ayckbourn @ Theatre Royal Haymarket. Directed by Alan Strachan. (Opening 31-03-16) ©Tristram Kenton 03/16 (3 Raveley Street, LONDON NW5 2HX TEL 0207 267 5550 Mob 07973 617 355)email: tristram@tristramkenton.com

Alan Ayckbourn’s hilarious tale of matrimonial mishaps, How The Other Half Loves receives its first major West End revival, directed by Alan Strachan. Originally on the West End in August 1970, How The Other Half Loves was the first Ayckbourn play to play in New York.

As Bob and Fiona clumsily try to cover up their affair, their spouses’ intervention only adds to the confusion. William and Mary Featherstone become hopelessly stuck in the middle, falsely accused of adultery and with no idea as to how they’ve become involved. The plot culminates in two disastrous dinner parties on successive nights, shown at the same time, after which the future of all three couples seems in jeopardy…

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Jekyll and Hyde

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Inspired by Robert Louis Stevenson’s The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, this new dance thriller has been devised, directed and choreographed by Olivier Award winner Drew McOnie.

One of the UK’s most innovative theatre choreographers Drew McOnie reimagines Robert Louis Stevenson’s sinister drama in an excitingly physical new dance production with music by Grant Olding.

Jekyll & Hyde has been commissioned by The Old Vic as part of its new dance collaboration with The McOnie Company, led by Associate Artist Drew McOnie.

Daniel Collins, currently in Showboat, plays Dr Jekyll and Tim Hodges is Mr Hyde.

Bookings

Kenny Morgan

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February 1949. The tenants of a boarding house in Camden Town, alerted by a smell of gas coming from one of the rooms, discover a young man lying unconscious, and signs of what might be a botched suicide attempt. In an attempt to make contact with the victim’s family or friends, they decide to telephone the first person listed in his book of personal telephone numbers. It is the celebrated playwright Terence Rattigan….

Mike Poulton (Tony nominated for his Broadway versions of Fortune’s Fool, Wolf Hall, and Bring Up The Bodies) in his new play makes a conjectural reconstruction of a day in the life of a young man who nine years previously had received the British Film Industry’s ‘Most Promising Newcomer’ award.

Kenny Morgan, directed by Lucy Bailey, reveals a volatile story of secrets and lies, of
destructive passions and unrequited love… and draws on the real events behind the creation of what would become arguably Terence Rattigan’s best and most celebrated play: The Deep Blue Sea.

Paul Keating, twice nominated for an Olivier award, takes on the title role.

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Lawrence After Arabia

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August, 1922. The most famous man in England has vanished without a trace: T.E. Lawrence has completely disappeared. But in the idyllic calm of the village of Ayot St Lawrence, on the top floor of the home of Mr and Mrs Bernard Shaw, the ‘uncrowned King of Arabia’ is hiding – with slabs of homemade carrot cake for comfort.

Wearied by his romanticised persona and worldwide fame, disgusted with his country and himself, Lawrence is craving normality. But when you’re a brilliant archaeologist, scholar, linguist, writer and diplomat – as well as a legendary desert warrior – how can you ever be normal? And beyond the Shaws’ garden wall, nobody cares how he feels: England just wants its hero back. Can he ever return?

Howard Brenton’s new play, commissioned to mark the centenary of the start of the Arab revolt, finds Lawrence trapped in his love/hate relationship with the limelight, tormented by ghosts and haunted by broken promises.

Brenton makes a highly anticipated return to Hampstead following the critically acclaimed historical epics Drawing the Line, 55 Days and The Arrest of Ai Weiwei.

Bookings

Ophelias Zimmer

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“I do not know, my lord, what I should think.”

A new work exploring Ophelia, freed from Hamlet.

Three of the UK’s most acclaimed theatre artists challenge our cultural images of Ophelia in art and on stage, placing one of the most side-lined women in English literature at the centre of the narrative.

Directed by Katie Mitchell, designed by Chloe Lamford, text by Alice Birch

The production is a major collaboration between the Royal Court and the Schaubühne Berlin and opened in Berlin in December 2015.

Bookings

Romeo and Juliet

ROMEO AND JULIET by Shakespeare, , Writer - William Shakespeare, Director - Rob Ashford and Kenneth Branagh, Set and Costume Designer - Christopher Oram, Lighting - Howard Hudson, The Garrick Theatre, London, 2016, Credit: Johan Persson

 

The hotly anticipated next production in the Kenneth Branagh and Rob Ashford season of collaboration which stars Richard Madden, Lily James, Meera Syal and Sir Derek Jacobi.

It promises smouldering passion and brilliant verse speaking – and if this company’s production of The Winter’s Tale is any measure, it should be sensational.

Bookings

The Sins of Jack Saul

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A new musical from the team that brought last year’s acclaimed Fanny and Stella: The Shocking True Story.

Jack Saul was the most notorious male prostitute in Victorian London. Born in a Dublin slum, he worked his way into the upper echelons of the aristocracy, became embroiled in two major scandals, and was the central character in an infamous work of pornography. But it was his involvement in the Cleveland Street male brothel, with its high profile clients, that secured his reputation.

With wit, charm and compassion, and Charles Miller’s wonderful new score, Glenn Chandler – the creator of TV’s Taggart – unearths the colourful and tragic life of a true Victorian boy of pleasure.

Bookings

The Philanderer

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Advanced people form charming friendships: conventional people marry.

A man in love with two women. But what do the women really want from him? A disgraced doctor falls in love with one of them – and then with the other. In the ensuing power struggle, the new feminism is up against the old machismo. In the end, will it be the law that has the last word on their chance of happiness?

Frankness and kindness: one is as bad as the other. Especially frankness. I’ve tried both.

Shaw at his wittiest. Marital arrangements, divorce laws and medical ethics all feature in this brilliantly funny story of four young people’s clumsy attempts at making their lives make sense.

Following the success of Paul Miller’s production of Shaw’s first play Widowers’ Houses, Orange Tree Theatre presents another of his early comedies, not seen in London in a generation.

Bookings