So here we are already: the second instalment of my theatre diary for this year. My resolution to restrain my theatregoing is going terribly, as you can see, but this month’s diary so far offers some intriguing work. Don’t forget to return to my blog throughout the month for all the reviews!
Oh, What A Lovely War! (Mon 2nd), Theatre Royal Stratford East
As events continue to commemorate the centenary of the First World War, Oh, What A Lovely War returns once again to the theatre where it was first premièred in 1963, before embarking on a national tour. At its time a controversial revisionist view of the Great War, it now stands as a fascinating insight into both the war, and into the 1960s view of recent history. With a cast led by Wendi Peters, I’m hoping for something special from my first visit to Stratford East.
Made In Dagenham (Weds 4th), Adelphi Theatre
It was announced just this week that Made In Dagenham will now close in April, after just six months in the West End, sadly marking it out as another new musical casualty. I’m looking forward to seeing for myself just how big a hole it will leave in the West End – is it a trite and dull attempt, or a vibrant new British musical that should be given more of a chance? Come back here in a week’s time and I’ll let you know my view on things.
Dara (Sun 8th), National Theatre
I was persuaded into this one by a friend with very little knowledge about the play, but who doesn’t love a £5 ticket to the National on a Sunday afternoon? Telling the story of two rival brothers in the imperial court of Mughal India, personal and global issues are put side-by-side in a play that promises great resonance for today’s world.
How To Hold Your Breath (Tues 17th), Royal Court
I won’t lie, this was one of those ticket purchases based purely on one particular cast member. I can’t wait to see Maxine Peake on stage as I have always admired her acting; and again, a trip to the Royal Court is always a delight. Zinnie Harris’s play delves into recent European history in another story of siblings with plenty of twists and turns.
Hamlet (Weds 18th), Cockpit Theatre
A shocking confession: this will be the first time I have seen Hamlet on stage. I know, I know, what have I been doing with my life, right? I had thought my first Hamlet would be Benedict Cumberbatch, but in fact he’s been pipped to the post by Rachel Waring, the youngest female actress ever to play the Danish prince professionally. This is a fast-paced and, by the looks of things, heavily restaged version of one of the Bard’s greatest triumphs, brought bang up to date with plenty of dark comedy – an intriguing prospect.
Closer (Tues 24th), Donmar Warehouse
Winner of the 1998 Oliver Award for Best New Play, Patrick Marber’s Closer has seen an array of stars in its various stage and screen productions. At the Donmar this spring, it is the quartet of Nancy Carroll, Oliver Chris, Rachel Redford and Rufus Sewell who tackle the twists of desire and betrayal, which has now played in more than 200 cities throughout the world.