Get our free email newsletter with just one click

Best theatre shows: our critics’ picks (June 20)

Alice McCarthy and Anna Martine in Rotterdam. Photo: Piers Foley Photography
by -


Natasha Tripney, reviews editor

Don’t Miss

Rotterdam – Arts Theatre, London

John Brittain’s “sweet, heartfelt and funny” comedy about a trans man and his relationship with his girlfriend, winner of the Olivier for Outstanding Achievement in an Affiliate Theatre transfers to the Arts Theatre, opening on June 22.

Read our review of Rotterdam at Theatre503

Also worth seeing

Andy Williams in Hir. Photo: Tristram Kenton

Hir – Bush Theatre, London

Nadia Fall, who has just been appointed artistic director at Theatre Royal Stratford East, directs a cast including Arthur Darvill in the Bush Theatre’s production of the work by playwright and performance artist Taylor Mac about the experiences of an American soldier returning home. It opens on June 20

Terror – Lyric Hammersmith, London

Sean Holmes directs Ferdinand von Schirach’s cult courtroom drama in which the audience votes to decide the outcome at each performance. It opens at the Lyric Hammersmith on June 22.

Lies – Drum Theatre, Plymouth

Belgian provocateurs Ontroerend Goed (Fight Night, Audience and the magnificent Smile Off Your Face) present their new show, Lies, about wealth and the 1%. It’s at Plymouth’s Drum Theatre until June 24 ahead of a run at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

Last chance to see

Star Wars’ John Boyega made a mighty West End debut in Jack Thorne’s “fierce, contemporary version of Buchner’s classic play”. Joe Murphy’s production of the savage update closes at the Old Vic on June 24.

Read our review of Woyzeck starring John Boyega

Festival of the week

Offbeat Festival – Oxford

Running from June 23 to July 2, Oxford’s 10-day fringe festival takes place at Oxford Playhouse and Old Fire Station. The line-up includes Idiot Child’s What If the Plane Falls Out the Sky?, James Rowland’s touching follow-up to Team Viking, A Hundred Different Words for Love, and a performance of #Torycore on June 23, a cry of rage in an age of austerity and toxic right-wing rhetoric.

Mark Shenton, lead critic

Don’t Miss

Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill – Wyndham’s Theatre, London

Broadway’s all-time most prolific Tony winner Audra McDonald makes her long overdue West End acting debut reprising her performance as Billie Holiday in Lanie Robertson’s play with songs. It opens on June 27.

Interview with Audra McDonald

Also worth seeing

Colin Morgan in rehearsals for Gloria. Photo: Marc Brenner

A View from the Bridge – Meridien Quays, Greenwich Peninsula, Greenwich

The UK premiere of Belgian collective De Roovers’ adaptation of Arthur Miller’s play is staged against the backdrop of the 21st-century London riverscape, presented as part of this year’s Greenwich and Docklands International Festival, which has commissioned the English translation. It runs from June 22 to 25.

The Rise and Fall of Little Voice – Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough

Jim Cartwright’s award winning play The Rise and Fall of Little Voice returns to Scarborough where the film version was made in the mid-1990s. The theatre’s new artistic director Paul Robinson will direct Serena Manteghi in the title role and Polly Lister as her mother. It opens on June 22.

Gloria – Hampstead Theatre, London

As Branden Jacobs-Jenkins’ An Octoroon extends its run at Richmond’s Orange Tree to July 1, Hampstead presents the UK premiere of his play Gloria, directed by Michael Longhurst and opening on June 21.

Event of the Week

West End Live 2017 – Trafalgar Square, London

This annual free celebration of the West End takes place on June 24 from 11am to 6pm and June 25 from 12 noon to 5pm, offering a kind of Glastonbury for musical theatre fans in Trafalgar Square. Lots of West End musicals are represented, and there will be live appearances from stars including Matt Cardle, Ben Forster, and Wicked alumni Kerry Ellis, Rachel Tucker and Willemijn Verkaik.

We need your help…

When you subscribe to The Stage, you’re investing in our journalism. And our journalism is invested in supporting theatre and the performing arts.

The Stage is a family business, operated by the same family since we were founded in 1880. We do not receive government funding. We are not owned by a large corporation. Our editorial is not dictated by ticket sales.

We are fully independent, but this means we rely on revenue from readers to survive.

Help us continue to report on great work across the UK, champion new talent and keep up our investigative journalism that holds the powerful to account. Your subscription helps ensure our journalism can continue.