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Natasha Tripney’s theatre picks: March 9

Jane Asher and Danield Boyd in Great Expectations at West Yorkshire Playhouse, Leeds. Photo: Idil Sukan Jane Asher and Danield Boyd in Great Expectations at West Yorkshire Playhouse, Leeds. Photo: Idil Sukan
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There’s a really rich and interesting spread of work opening around the UK this week, including an intriguing and contrasting double-bill of shows in Leeds.

Great Expectations – West Yorkshire Playhouse, Leeds

Lucy Bailey, a director of real range, wit and vision – who I interviewed for The Stage late last year – directs a sweeping three-hour version of one of Charles Dickens’ best-loved and best-known novels at West Yorkshire Playhouse, in a major production starring Jane Asher as Miss Havisham and Daniel Boyd, a one-time Headlong Romeo, as Pip.

The Damned United – West Yorkshire Playhouse, Leeds

Andrew Lancel in rehearsals for The damned United. Photo: Malcolm Johnson
Andrew Lancel in rehearsals for The damned United. Photo: Malcolm Johnson

Opening on March 10 at the same venue is Anders Lustgarten’s stage adaption of David Peace’s novel, The Damned United, about the life and career of football manager Brian Clough. Memorably filmed with Michael Sheen playing Clough, it’s going to be fascinating to see how – and if – this Red Ladder Theatre Company co-production works on stage.

The Man With the Hammer – Drum Theatre, Plymouth

The new play by Phil Porter, the man behind the sweetly bitter two-hander Blink, is about cycling and obsession. Justin Audibert directs the Theatre Royal Plymouth production, which opens on March 15.

The Nap – Crucible Theatre, Sheffield

The world premiere of Richard Bean’s new play, set in the world of snooker, really couldn’t have found a home at a better venue. Presented at the Crucible, the home of snooker, it’ll be directed by Richard Wilson and will feature a cast including Mark Addy and Ralf Little, alongside professional snooker player John Astley.

Brute – Soho Theatre, London

Izzy Tennyson in Brute. Photo: Richard Davenport
Izzy Tennyson in Brute. Photo: Richard Davenport

Izzy Tennyson’s solo show about the volatility of adolescence is “painfully well-observed and often very funny”. Tennyson is a fizzy, fascinating presence on stage and her show, while fidgety, conveys something of the mess of being a teenage girl. Brute runs at Soho Theatre from March 15 to 19.

Correspondence – Old Red Lion Theatre, London

Following his recent win at the Off West End Theatre Awards for best artistic director, Stewart Pringle continues to programme intriguing new writing at his Islington venue, the latest production a new play by Lucinda Burnett – a contemporary coming-of-age story set against the backdrop of the conflict in Syria.

Luce – Southwark Playhouse, London

Mel Giedroyc stars in the UK premiere of the play by JC Lee about terrorism and America, presented by Simon Dormandy and Dick Bird, the creative team behind the recent stage version of The Hudsucker Proxy.

The Glass Menagerie – Nottingham Playhouse

Chris New, Susannah Harker and Amy Trigg star in Giles Croft’s new version of Tennessee Williams’ American classic, which forms part of the Ramps on the Moon initiative, committed to the “mainstreaming of disability arts and culture”.

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