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Natasha Tripney’s theatre picks: July 22

Little Malcolm And His Struggle Against The Eunuchs at Southwark Playhouse. Photo: Thomas Scurr Little Malcolm And His Struggle Against The Eunuchs at Southwark Playhouse. Photo: Thomas Scurr
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This week, while dominated by Edinburgh Fringe previews (of which I’ve compiled some highlights), also provides the opportunity to revisit (or just visit) one of the most striking pieces to emerge from last year’s festival. There’s also an exciting programme of new and emerging work at Derby Theatre.

Men in the Cities – Royal Court Theatre, London

Chris Goode’s extraordinary solo show, an angry, painful intricate interlacing of stories, was one of the stand-out shows – by some way – at last year’s Fringe and certainly contributed to his winning of a special award from The Stage at the end of the festival (you can listen to the Q&A from that event here). It’s a bruising, brilliant, difficult piece of theatre, the kind of thing that gets under your skin, and it’s playing the Royal Court for a short run from July 21. Essential.

Departure Lounge – Derby Theatre

Derby Theatre’s summer festival of new work, produced by the In Good Company, returns for its third year from July 23-26 with an exciting programme including an early chance to see Barrel Organ’s new show Some People Talk About Violence ahead of the Fringe and work by Theatre Re and the Sleeping Trees.

Richard II – Shakespeare’s Globe, London

Charles Edwards stars as the golden king brought low in Simon Godwin’s production for the Globe. Godwin recently directed the fizzy, witty production of Farquhar’s The Beaux’ Stratagem for the National, and I’m looking forward to seeing how he tackles this play in this space.

Brainstorm – National Theatre, London

An intriguing sounding project at the National, Islington Community Theatre and a company of teenage performers have created a piece exploring the workings of the adolescent brain, working with cognitive neuroscientist Professor Sarah-Jayne Blakemore and drawing on their own experiences.

Edinburgh on Your Doorstep – Ovalhouse, London

Ovalhouse has programmed a short run of Edinburgh previews in the run up to the Fringe, kicking off on July 24 with Jo Bannon’s Alba, a piece influenced by her experiences of being a person with albinism, and also including work by Sarah Calver and John Fitzpatrick.

Tribute Acts – Bike Shed Theatre, Exeter

Theatrestate, the company behind the Fanny Hill Project, is previewing its new Edinburgh show at Exeter’s Bike Shed on July 24 and 25, using video and performance to explore fatherhood, heroism and memory.

Little Malcolm and His Struggle Against The Eunuchs – Southwark Playhouse, London

I’ve not seen it yet but I’ve heard all kinds of excellent things about Clive Judd’s revival of David Halliwell’s play for Soggy Arts at Southwark Playhouse. And while it’s creeping towards the three hour mark in length, that’s only three-quarters of an Oresteia. Bring it.

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