Best theatre shows: our critics’ picks (August 8)

Nassim at Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh. Photo: David Monteith-Hodge Nassim at the Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh. Photo: David Monteith-Hodge
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Natasha Tripney

Don’t Miss

Nassim – Traverse Theatre, times vary

The new play by Iranian writer Nassim Soleimanpour features a different actor at every performance responding to a text they haven’t read before, in a similar manner to his cult play White Rabbit Red Rabbit. It’s a delicate and moving play about language and homelands. I saw it with Chris Thorpe – who was as brilliant as you’d expect, funny, receptive, sensitive – but I am eager to see it again with someone else speaking Soleimanpour’s words.

Also worth seeing

Out of Love – Roundabout, Summerhall – 13.25

Elinor Cook’s three-hander for Paines Plough, Out of Love, is a celebration of female friendship that’s moving and funny in equal measures as well as astute about sex and the pressures placed on women. A superb bit of new writing.

£¥€$ (Lies) – Summerhall, 18.30, 20.30

The endlessly inventive and provocative Belgian company Ontroerend Goed is back with £¥€$ (Lies), a new show about wealth and global finances. We called it an “engaging, beautifully presented game of global capitalism in crisis” in our four-star review.

Start Swimming at the Young Vic. Photo: Helen Murray
Start Swimming at the Young Vic. Photo: Helen Murray

Start Swimming – Summerhall, 14.40

Made in parallel to Paul Mason’s Why It’s Kicking Off Everywhere, James Fritz’s play for the Young Vic’s Taking Part scheme asks what power young people have to affect change. Fritz is a writer of real skill and his work is always worth a punt.

Mark Shenton

Don’t Miss

The Divide – King’s Theatre, Edinburgh

As well as his usual annual new play at Scarborough (where A Brief History of Women will premiere in September), Alan Ayckbourn also has a new double bill, The Divide, premiering as part of the Edinburgh International Festival, opening on August 11. Annabel Bolton’s production of this futuristic play, with a cast that includes Clare Burt, Sophie Melville, Sian Thomas and Finty Williams, is set to transfer to London’s Old Vic from January 30, 2018.

Also worth seeing

Tyrone Huntley in Jesus Christ Superstar. Photo: Johan Persson
Tyrone Huntley in Jesus Christ Superstar. Photo: Johan Persson

Jesus Christ Superstar – Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre, London
Last summer’s hit Olivier-winning production of Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice’s Jesus Christ Superstar returns, with Declan Bennett and Tyrone Huntley reprising their performances as Jesus and Judas respectively. It begins performances August 11 for a run to September 23.

The Odyssey – The Scoop, London
Regular Stage contributor Phil Willmott adapts and directs Homer’s Greek epic The Odyssey as a three-part free open air show, running from August 9 to September 3.

Concert of the week

Oklahoma! – Royal Albert Hall, London
John Wilson conducts a BBC Prom concert performance of the great Rodgers and Hammerstein classic Oklahoma!, with a cast that includes Nathaniel Hackmann as Curly and Scarlett Strallen as Laurey, with Robert Fairchild (last seen in London in An American in Paris) as Will Parker and Marcus Brigstocke as Ali Hakim, for two performances only on August 11.

Last chance to see

Committee – Donmar Warehouse, London
Josie Rourke, Hadley Fraser and Tom Deering’s verbatim musical Committee, adapted from transcripts of the House of Commons select committee enquiry into the collapse of the Kids’ Company, ends its run on August 12.