Posts Tagged ‘ Old Vic ’

What’s On this week: Highlights

The Road to Mecca, by Athol Fugard, Arcola, Studio 1

Miss Helen is facing the biggest decision of her life. After spending fifteen years transforming her house into a haven of light and colour against the desolate South African plains, a darkness has set in. Rejected by the deeply religious South African community and with only an idealistic young friend to fight for her, will Miss Helen be forced from her personal Mecca?”

Welcome to Thebes, by Moira Buffini, Olivier Theatre, National Theatre

A new play by writer-in-residence at the National Theatre Studio, Moira Buffini (whose play, Handbagged, is currently playing as part of the Tricycle’s Women, Power and Politics season).

“Faced with an impoverished population, a shattered infrastructure and a volatile army, the first democratic president of Thebes, Eurydice, promises peace to her nation. Without the aid of Theseus, the leader of the vastly wealthy state of Athens, she doesn’t stand a chance. But Theseus is arrogant, mercurial and motivated by profit.”

Manon, by Jules Massenet, conducted by Antonio Pappano, Royal Opera House

Director Laurent Pelly (who also oversaw the ROH’s La Fille du Régiment) brings Massenet’s tragic tale to the stage.

“Manon evokes in its designs and action all the colour, the life and the disturbing social underside of Paris in the 1880s, when the opera was written.

The story’s theme is familiar and powerful: a naive young woman is drawn into a world of men, torn between love and luxury, unable to resist the wrong things and paying the ultimate price.”

As You Like It / The Tempest – The Bridge Project, The Old Vic

Sam Mendes cross-Atlantic troupe tackle two of Shakespeare’s most complex plays.

As You Like It, with its pastoral setting and cross-dressing characters, has a healthy dose of mischief and mayhem. The Tempest, one of Shakespeare’s later plays, takes place on an enchanted island and simmers with repressed darkness and disaster.

Sucker Punch, by Roy Williams, The Royal Court Theatre

Roy Williams’ dynamic play about being young and Black in the 80s is getting rave reviews.

back on what it was like to be young and Black in the 80s and asks if the right battles have been fought, let alone won.

What’s On in London 19th-25th April


Little Gem, at the Bush Theatre

The debut play by Irish playwright Elaine Murphy follows the lives of three generations of Dublin women through love, joy, death and disappointment.

“Happy-go-lucky Amber is high on life until the ‘indigestion’ starts; her mother Lorraine attacks a customer at work and now she is seeing a ‘head doctor’; Nanny Kay is finding life on the wrong side of 60 frustrating. And as is all that wasn’t bad enough, Little Gem makes his presence felt and life is never the same again.”


Stepping Out, Richmond Theatre

“In a dusty church hall, ex-professional dancer Mavis Turner holds her weekly tap class. Every Thursday, in stumbles her well-intentioned but not overly talented troupe – the awkward but hugely enthusiastic Lynne, snooty Vera, streetwise Maxine and the rest of the group – all brought together to dance as if no one is watching, and hopefully no one ever will.

That is until they are invited to perform at a charity gala. As disbelief if replaced by sheer terror, can this bunch of amateurs pull together and put on the performance of a lifetime?”

The Little Hut, at Greenwich Theatre

“On a desert island, Philip, a stalwart Englishman, is shipwrecked with his elegant wife Susan and her secret lover Henry. In such close quarters, Henry persuades Susan to confess her infidelity to Philip and adopt a plan, whereby each man will dwell with her every other week while the other retires to… The Little Hut.”

Moby Dick, at the Lyric Hammersmith

Spymokey’s take on Herman Melville’s classic.

“Trapped in the belly of a literary monster, four whalers ponder the irony of their fate as they recount their own unique version of the tale of Moby Dick. Sprinkled with inaccuracies and ever-increasing fantasy, it is the greatest mistelling of this classic and much-loved story.”

Porn the Musical, Theatre 503

When young Stefan’s tranquil life on the island of Malta is shattered by his fiancee’s slutty revelation, he goes off to America in search of a new life. What he finds is an exciting group of friends in an industry that takes some getting used to.”

Apparently, “Despite the title there is no actual porn in this show.”

The Sleeping Beauty, London Coliseum

“With a classical score by Tchaikovsky and original choreography by Marius Petipa, The Sleeping Beauty is considered one of the greatest ballets from Imperial Russia.
On her christening day Princess Aurora is cursed by the wicked fairy Carabosse: one day the Princess will prick her finger on a spindle and die. But the kind Lilac Fairy tempers the curse so the Princess will instead fall asleep for 100 years.
This thrilling production is by Birmingham Royal Ballet’s former director Sir Peter Wright.”

Sweet Nothings, Rose Theatre, Kingston

“Sweet Nothings explores the power of sexual longing, the cruelty of tradition and the vulnerability of those in love.
A young man has an affair with a married woman. He is terrified her husband will challenge him to a duel and kill him. At a party, he flirts with a girl who believes she is truly loved. Life seems full of joy. The doorbell rings. The husband enters the room.”


The Real Thing, The Old Vic

A Tom Stoppard comedy examining the complex nature of love, art and reality.

“Henry is a successful and talented playwright married to Charlotte, an actress playing the lead in his current play about adultery. Her co-star and friend Max is married to Annie, also an actor. Henry and Annie have fallen in love but is it any more real than the subjects in Henry’s play? As the story unravels, Henry discovers that love – ‘the real thing’ – can be unpredictable and painful.”

This production of The Real Thing at the Old Vic stars Toby Stephens as Henry.


Ruined, Almeida Theatre

“Lynn Nottage’s play Ruined is set in a small mining town deep in the Democratic Republic of Congo. In Mama Nadi’s bar her rules apply. No arguments, no politics, no guns. When two new girls tainted with the stigma of their recent past arrive, Mama is forced to reassess her business priorities and personal loyalties. As tales of local atrocities spread and tensions between rebels and government militia rise, the realities of life in civil war provide the ultimate test of the human spirit.”

Ballet Shoes, at the Peacock Theatre

London Children’s Ballet returns to the West End with a new production of Noel Streatfield’s popular classic story Ballet Shoes.
“The cast of 55 dancers, aged nine to 16, makes this a perfect way to introduce young audiences to the joys of ballet and classical music.”


Pictures From an Exhibition, Sadler’s Wells

“Pictures From An Exhibition begins moments from Modest Mussorgsky’s death, as the composer’s life flashes before his eyes. Vivid memories of his past and his closest relationships return in powerful fragments, staged by the combination of director Daniel Kramer (Angels In America, Punch And Judy), choreographer Frauke Requardt and poet James Fenton.

Often said to be his greatest solo piano composition, Mussorgsky composed Pictures From An Exhibition in memory of his friend, the artist and architect Viktor Hartmann, in 1874.


Elegy For Young Lovers, at the Young Vic

“Fiona Shaw (yes, the Fiona Shaw) directs Hans Werner Henze’s Elegy For Young Lovers in the third season of English National Opera/Young Vic collaborations.

The libretto for Elegy For Young Lovers, by WH Auden and Chester Kallman, revolves around a poet who devours those around him in order to nourish his art and his ego. It was premiered in 1961 and revised by the composer in 1986.
Elegy For Young Lovers composer Henze was born in Germany in 1926 and his work was influenced by a wide range of eclectic styles including neo-classicism, jazz, the twelve-tone technique and some rock and popular music.

Elegy For Young Lovers marks the UK opera conducting debut of Stefan Blunier.

Serenade for a Satellite, Barbican Hall

Birmingham Contemporary Music Group presents this family concert which combines music with theatre in a journey across time and space.

Launching with Bruno Maderna’s Serenade For A Satellite, the concert then takes the audience through the musical worlds of composers Luciano Berio, Param Vir, David Lang, Peter Wiegold and Charlotte Bray.

Theatremaker and artist Graeme Miller adds his whimsical imagination to proceedings.

Events in the foyer before the concert include music, games, theatre and film, and children and their families are encouraged to take part.

Ideal for ages 7+”


No Idea, at Greenwich Theatre

“Armed with a tape recorder, Rachael and Lisa went on to the streets and asked people what they thought their show should be about.

What they heard and recorded was funny, heartfelt, sometimes staggering but always very revealing about what we can (and can’t) imagine when we look at someone.”