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Natasha Tripney’s theatre picks: June 2

A scene from Buckets at the Orange Tree Theatre. Photo: Tristram Kenton A scene from Buckets at the Orange Tree Theatre. Photo: Tristram Kenton
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It’s a relatively quiet week in terms of new shows in London, until Friday at least when the Almeida’s Greek season gets underway, but there are interesting openings at the Orange Tree and Arcola and the Christopher Brett Bailey fan club will be in their element as his cult hit, This Is How We Die, returns to London’s Battersea Arts Centre. Outside the capital, the Pulse Festival in Ipswich – on until June 6 – has a cracking line-up this year.

Buckets – Orange Tree Theatre, London

The risks Paul Miller has taken during his inaugural season as artistic director at the Orange Tree have in the most part paid off, resulting in a doubling of first-time audience members, despite having Arts Council England funding withdrawn just as he was starting out in the role. His programming has balanced new work – by Alistair McDowall and Alice Birch – with revivals and rediscoveries. He wraps up his first season with Buckets, Adam Barnard’s play about mortality.

Oresteia – Almeida Theatre, London

The thrillingly ambitious Almeida Greeks season – three major new productions of Greek Tragedies – kicks off this week with Robert Icke’s reimagining of the Oresteia starring Lia Williams. Productions of the Bakkhai and Medea follow later in the year.

Wot? No Fish!! – New Wolsey Theatre, Ipswich

Danny Braverman’s poignant solo show explores his family’s history via a collection of drawings made by his great uncle. It’s both a fascinating, tender portrait of a marriage over several decades and a celebration of one man’s art. It’s at the New Wolsey on June 6 as part of this year’s Pulse Festival.

Early Doors – The Royal Oak, Manchester

Not Too Tame’s raucous, celebratory show about the relationship between pubs and the communities in which they sit – a collage of stories and songs designed to be performed in pubs – comes to Manchester from June 4-7 as part of a UK tour. Tickets are available via The Lowry.

Now This Is Not the End – Arcola Theatre, London

I’m intrigued by the sound of Rose Lewenstein’s new play, Now This Is Not the End, which opens at the Arcola this week. Developed at the Royal Court, it promises to be a play about family histories, secrets and memories, and what it means to have a homeland.

This Is How We Die – Battersea Arts Centre, London

The brilliantly bequiffed Christopher Brett Bailey brings his fast and furious wave of words to Battersea Arts Centre this week. It’s a powerhouse of a solo show, a high octane poetic road trip through American literature which cumulates in an ocean of noise.

Constellations – Nuffield Theatre, Southampton

I’m not as big a fan of Constellations, Nick Payne’s tear-jerking multiverse love story as many people are but Louise Brealey and Joe Armstrong are two performers who are always worth watching. The show, which originated at the Royal Court, comes to the Nuffield this week as part of a UK tour.

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