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Natasha Tripney’s theatre picks: June 16

Abbi Greenland, Helena Lymbery and Helen Goalen in We Want You to Watch at the National Theatre. Photo: Richard Davenpor Abbi Greenland, Helena Lymbery and Helen Goalen in We Want You to Watch at the National Theatre. Photo: Richard Davenpor
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Another full week, particularly in London where there are new openings at the National and the Royal Court, and Soho Theatre begins its Soho Solo season of one-person shows. There’s still time to see Chris Brett Bailey’s This Is How We Die at Battersea Arts Centre and while you’re there you should check out the debut show by Sean Mahoney, too…

We Want You to Watch – National Theatre, London

Given their track records, this collaboration between Alice Birch – whose past work includes the rousing, formally adventurous Revolt. She said. Revolt Again and the intricate Many Moons – and physical theatre specialist RashDash, the company behind The Ugly Sisters and Another Someone, promises to be angry intelligent feminist theatre. It feels like exactly the kind of thing the National should be using their big red not-Shed for. Properly exciting.

Violence and Son – Royal Court, London

Kathryn Hunter in Kafka's Monkey. Photo: Tristram Kenton
Kathryn Hunter in Kafka’s Monkey. Photo: Tristram Kenton

Gary Owen’s Violence and Son at the Royal Court takes you to places you might not want to go but it’s a road worth going down. What begins as a funny and moving piece of writing about fathers and sons morphs into something darker, harder and more questioning. Features some great Doctor Who gags and an absolutely first class performance from David Moorst too.

Kafka’s Monkey – Home, Manchester

Kathryn Hunter is an extraordinarily physical performer; with each new role she transforms herself. Walter Meierjohann’s 2009 production, based on A Report to an Academy, begins a run at Manchester’s new multi arts venue, Home, on June 17 following a UK tour.

Until You Hear That Bell – Battersea Arts Centre, London

Sean Mahoney is another name to watch out for. A member of the Roundhouse poetry collective, he has a pleasing ease about him as a performer. His debut solo spoken word show, Until You Hear That Bell, is an autobiographical account of his time as an amateur boxer. It’s a funny, confident, engaging, piece of work, full of promise.

Blood – Derby Theatre

Tamasha’s touring production of Blood, the play by Emteaz Hussain, a tense contemporary reworking of Romeo and Juliet set among a Midlands Pakistani community, is at Derby Theatre this week on June 19 and 20.

Dogs of War at the Old Red Lion. Photo: Pamela Raith
Dogs of War at the Old Red Lion. Photo: Pamela Raith

Chef – Soho Theatre, London

The brilliant Jade Anouka – one of the winners of The Stage Awards for Acting Excellence at last year’s Edinburgh Fringe – stars in Sabrina Mahfouz’s Fringe First winning poetic monologue, as part of the Soho Solo Season at Soho Theatre.

The Dogs of War – Old Red Lion, London

There’s one week left to catch Tim Foley’s bruising, acute play, about the impact of mental illness on two generations of the same family, at the Old Red Lion. It’s an impressive piece of work, strong, odd, and unexpected – and one that makes you eager to see what Foley will do next. It’s on until June 20.

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