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Natasha Tripney’s theatre picks: May 12

Janet Etuk and Sean O'Callaghan in Beyond Caring. Photo: Mark Douet
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This week is full of festivals. The Brighton Festival and Fringe enter their second week, as does the Norfolk and Norwich Festival, while Bristol’s Mayfest gets underway on May 14. There’s still a lot to see in London, including an intriguing show by Greyscale…

Beyond Caring – National Theatre, London

There’s still time to see Beyond Caring, Alexander Zeldin’s devised piece about the dehumanising effect of zero hours contracts, before May 16 when it finishes its run at the National’s Temporary Theatre following a transfer from The Yard. It’s a raw, unsparing show but its anger is bladed and eloquent. It’s not an easy watch but nor is it meant to be. And what it has to say matters, perhaps now more than ever.

Plastic Figurines – Clwyd Theatre, Mold

Joshua James in Light Shining In Buckinghamshire. Photo: Marc Brenner
Joshua James in Light Shining In Buckinghamshire. Photo: Marc Brenner

It’s also your last chance to catch Box of Tricks’ delicate production of Ella Carmen Greenhill’s well-observed and tender two-hander about the complicated relationship between a woman and her autistic brother. It’s in Wales this week from May 14-16 as it comes to the end of its UK tour.

Light Shining in Buckinghamshire – National Theatre, London

While Lyndsey Turner’s production of Caryl Churchill’s Light Shining in Buckinghamshire is both word-dense and somewhat static for something that features such a large community chorus, as a play of ideas it is rich and resonant, and it boasts a beautiful design by Es Devlin.

Gods are Fallen and All Safety Gone – Camden People’s Theatre, London

I’m really intrigued by the premise of Greyscale’s show, which is coming to Camden People’s Theatre this week for its first full London run as part of a larger UK tour. Selma Dimitrijevic’s production uses two male performers to explore the intensity of the relationship between mother and daughter.

The Beautiful Cosmos of Ivor Cutler – Theatre Royal, Brighton

Sandy Grierson in The Beautiful Cosmos of Ivor Cutler
Sandy Grierson in The Beautiful Cosmos of Ivor Cutler. Photo: Tim Morozzo

Vanishing Point and the National Theatre of Scotland join forces to celebrate the work and life of Ivor Cutler in a collage of music, prose, poetry and biography, presented as part of the Brighton Festival from May 13-17.

A Girl is a Half-Formed Thing – Norwich Playhouse

I hear good things about The Corn Exchange’s production of Eimear McBride’s acclaimed Irish novel, A Girl is a Half-Formed Thing. It comes to the Norfolk and Norwich Festival this week after a successful run at last year’s Dublin Theatre Festival.

Mess – Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh

Mess, Caroline Horton’s unsentimental, delicate, feathered and intelligent show about anorexia – which won The Stage Award for Acting Excellence when it premiered back in 2012 – returns to the Traverse this week, from May 14-16, as part of the Imaginate Festival before embarking on an all too short tour.

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