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Natasha Tripney’s theatre picks: May 18

Daniel Kaluuya and Luke Norris in rehearsal for Blue/Orange. Photo: Johan Persson

In addition to the continuing festivals in Brighton, Bristol and Norwich, the next seven days features a slew of new openings in London and the UK, including new work at London’s Royal Court and Manchester’s Royal Exchange.

Blue/Orange – Young Vic, London

Joe Penhall’s oft-revived three hander, Blue/Orange, is given another airing at the Young Vic. It’s easy to see why people keep returning to it. Matthew Xia directs David Haig, Daniel Kaluuya and Luke Norris in the pay of ethics, wellness and world view which opens on May 19.

Stone Face – Finborough Theatre, London

Ellie Turner in rehearsals for Stone Face. Photo: Lauren Bevan
Ellie Turner in rehearsals for Stone Face. Photo: Lauren Bevan

Eve Leigh’s play has a fascinating premise. A 15-year-old girl is discovered in a one-bedroom flat in London. She’s never left the room in which she was found and can’t speak. Can she ever be part of the world? Leigh is a writer of real promise and her play opens on May 19.

The Joke – Camden People’s Theatre, London

Will Adamsdale – the comedian and writer behind Perrier-winning motivational speaker Jackson – teams up with Brian Logan and Lloyd Hutchinson for The Joke, a new show exploring cultural stereotypes in comedy. You can read more in The Stage’s interview with Adamsdale [1].

Black Stuff – Cardiff Bay

Volcano’s site-specific piece Black Stuff, about the relationship with the coal industry and South Wales, features three and a half tonnes of coal. It’s being performed at a disused building in Cardiff Bay between May 17-28.

Kenny Morgan – Arcola Theatre, London

This new play, written by Mike Poulton and directed by Lucy Bailey, tells the story of the life – and suicide – of Terence Rattigan’s lover, Kenny Morgan. It opens on May 23.

This Is Not a Magic Show – Wardrobe Theatre, Bristol

Vincent Gambini
Vincent Gambini

Vincent Gambini’s “gentle, cerebral show” in which he skilfully performs his magic act while playing with the expectations of his audience, is on tour. You can catch it at the Wardrobe Theatre, as part of Bristol’s Mayfest, on May 20.

Human Animals – Royal Court, London

Scottish playwright Stef Smith’s previous work includes the acclaimed, harrowing Roadkill and last year’s intriguing if patchy Swallow. Stella Gonet leads the cast in Smith’s new play, Human Animals, which opens upstairs at the Royal Court on May 23.

The Night Watch – Royal Exchange, Manchester

Written in 2006, The Night Watch saw Sarah Waters leave behind the Victorian setting of her first three novels and stretch her writing muscles. Set in the Second World War, it’s an evocative and nuanced book, which Hattie Naylor has adapted for the stage in a production which was originally meant to be directed by Sarah Frankcom, but is now being helmed by Rebecca Gatward. It opens on May 24.