Best theatre shows: our critics’ picks (July 11)

Salma Hoque in rehearsals for Bodies. Photo: Bronwen Sharp
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Summer’s in bloom, and the theatre tree is heavy with fruit. Our critics head to the cherry orchard to gather the ripest buds. Are you ready to crumble?

Natasha Tripney, reviews editor

Bodies – Jerwood Theatre Upstairs, Royal Court, London

Jude Christian directs a new play about surrogacy by Vivienne Franzmann whose linguistically experimental Pests and war photography drama The Witness both had runs at the Royal Court. It opens on July 11.

Also worth seeing

Kamari Romeo and Victoria Gigante in rehearsals for Summer i London. Photo: Sharron Wallace

Summer in London – Theatre Royal Stratford East, London

Written and directed by Rikki Beadle-Blair, Summer in London is the first play at a mainstream venue with an all-trans cast. A comedy of romance, friendship and being skint in the city, it opens at Theatre Royal Stratford East on July 13.

Touch – Soho Theatre, London

Touch, the new play by Vicky Jones, Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s director on Fleabag and writer of the similarly provocative and sexually frank The One, opens at Soho Theatre this week.

10,000 Gestures – Mayfield, Manchester

Choreographer Boris Charmatz brings his newest work 10,000 Gestures to the Manchester International Festival. Featuring a a 25-strong ensemble of dancers and promising ‘an explosion of movement’ using 10,000 different gestures, it runs from July 13 to 15.

Festival of the week

Latitude Festival – Southwold, Suffolk

Latitude – the most ‘white wine and Kettle Chips’ of the big summer festivals – encompasses theatre, dance and circus more than most. This year’s line-up includes new work from Clod Ensemble, another chance to catch the Royal Court’s Manwatching, Theatre Re’s The Nature of Forgetting and Shon Dale-Jones’ Edinburgh-bound show, Me and Robin Hood. There’s an abundance of dance and dedicated cabaret space too. It runs from July 13 to 16

Mark Shenton, lead critic

Don’t miss

Omid Djalili in rehearsals for Fiddler on the Roof. Photo: Johan Persson

Fiddler on the Roof – Chichester Festival Theatre

We’ve already had one Fiddler on the Roof this year at Liverpool Everyman. Now Daniel Evans revives this 1964 Broadway musical about the Jewish diaspora from Russia – one of the most moving shows ever written – as the first of his Chichester musicals, with Omid Djalili as Tevye and Tracy-Ann Oberman as his wife Golde. It opens on July 18.

Also worth seeing

Dessert – Southwark Playhouse, London

Trevor Nunn makes his directorial debut at Southwark Playhouse with Dessert, a new play by actor-turned-writer Oliver Cotton, opening on July 18. In Nunn’s own words: “I have so happily and often worked with him as an actor, and now I am hugely looking forward to encountering him in a different role when I direct his burningly relevant new play.”

Disco Pigs – Trafalgar Studios, London

Enda Walsh’s play Disco Pigs first premiered at the 1997 Edinburgh Fringe. Twenty years later, it is being revived at Trafalgar Studios, opening on July 18, with cast that features Harry Potter actor Evanna Lynch and Colin Campbell.

Last chance to see

The Girls – Phoenix Theatre, London

One of only two new British musicals to open in the West End last year, Tim Firth and Gary Barlow’s The Girls should have run and run. It’s full of heart, a great story and wonderful songs. Sadly, it closes on July 15, though a national tour is now planned for next year.