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Best theatre shows: our critics’ picks (August 1)

Cast of Apologia Joe Millson, Laura Carmichael, Stockard Channing, Freema Agyeman and Desmond Barrit. Photo: Simon Turtle Cast of Apologia Joe Millson, Laura Carmichael, Stockard Channing, Freema Agyeman and Desmond Barrit. Photo: Simon Turtle
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Natasha Tripney

Don’t miss

Education, Education, Education – Pleasance Dome (17.20)

The Wardrobe Ensemble, the inventive Bristol ensemble behind 1972: The Future of Sex brings its new show to the fringe. Education, Education, Education is set in 1997 – the year of Tony Blair’s election win – and explores the school system in the 1990s.

Also worth seeing

Secret Life of Humans – Pleasance Courtyard (18.30)

The New Diorama’s fringe show for 2017 is not short on ambition, taking its inspiration from Yuval Noah Harari popular history book Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind. Having previously tackled Orwell’s Down and Out in Paris and London, the company has form when it comes to making idea-packed, stimulating theatre.

The B*easts – Underbelly (18.00)

Monica Dolan is a consistently interesting actor. The star of W1A – who has a sideline in intense and unsettling ladies’ companions in Agatha Christie adaptations – has written a play about the ‘pornification’ of contemporary culture, in which she also stars.

Mars Actually – Assembly Roxy (19.00)

Superbolt, the company behind an “immensely crowd-pleasing” riff on Spielberg dino classic Jurassic Park, turns its attention from velociraptors to the red planet with new comedy Mars Actually.

Mark Shenton

Don’t miss

Evita – Phoenix Theatre, London

Emma Hatton as Eva Peron in Evita. Photo: Pamela RaithEmma Hatton as Eva Peron in Evita. Photo: Pamela Raith

Emma Hatton swaps Elphaba in Wicked for another iconic musical theatre role: the title part in Evita. She is joined by Italian performer Gian Marco Schiaretti as Che, in a West End return for a touring version of the Lloyd Webber/Tim Rice musical that has previously played at the Dominion. It opens on August 2.

Also worth seeing

Around the World in 80 Days – Cadogan Hall, London

Jules Verne’s classic story Around the World in 80 Days is adapted for the stage by Laura Easton, with an ensemble of eight playing over 125 characters in Theresa Heskins’s New Vic production, opening August 4 and running for a month to September 2.

Peter Pan – Mercury Theatre, Colchester

Daniel Buckroyd and regular collaborator Matthew Cullum direct a new production of Peter Pan, as part of the Mercury Theatre’s Made in Colchester season, opening on August 2.

Apologia – Trafalgar Studios, London

Alexi Kaye Campbell’s family drama Apologia, originally seen at the Bush in 2009, premieres in the West End at Trafalgar Studios with Jamie Lloyd directing  a cast that features Stockard Channing, Joseph Millson and Laura Carmichael. It opens on August 4.

Gangsta Granny/ Horrible Histories – More of Barmy Britain – Garrick Theatre, London

Birmingham Stage Company celebrate its 25th anniversary with West End runs for two of his shows: The stage version of David Walliams’ Gangsta Granny, opening August 1, and Horrible Histories – More Best of Barmy Britain, opening on August 7.

Last chance to see

Beautiful –The Carole King Musical – Aldwych Theatre, London

The Broadway bio-musical Beautiful, which tells the back story of the singer-songwriter Carole King, reaches the end of its London run on August 5. It then launches a UK national tour at Bradford’s Alhambra Theatre from September 9.