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Best theatre shows: our critics’ picks (June 6)

Hattie Morahan in rehearsals for Anatomy of a Suicide. Photo: Stephen Cummiskey
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As election fever grips the nation, our critics stroll down to the ballot box and put a cross in the box beside their favourite shows…

Natasha Tripney, reviews editor

Don’t miss

Anatomy of a Suicide – Royal Court, London

Playwright Alice Birch and director Katie Mitchell have worked together before, on Ophelias Zimmer. They join forces once more for a new work about three generations of women with a cast that includes Hattie Morahan and Kate O’Flynn, so radiant in John Tiffany’s production of The Glass Menagerie, for Anatomy of a Suicide, now running at the Royal Court.

Also worth seeing

A scene from Tommy. Photo: Mike Kwasniak

Tommy – Theatre Royal Stratford East, London

The Ramps on the Moon production of The Who’s rock opera Tommy, directed by Kerry Michael and featuring a cast of disabled and non-disabled actors is “an eye-opening, awe-inspiring, extraordinary evening”. It’s at Theatre Royal Stratford East from June 7.

Salome – Swan Theatre, Stratford-upon-Avon

Following Yael Farber’s opinion-splitting reclamation of the story of Salome at the National Theatre, the Royal Shakespeare Company presents Owen Horsley’s production of Oscar Wilde’s play starring the magnetic Matthew Tennyson – so striking in Robert Holman’s Breakfast of Eels and Cleansed at the NT. Opens on June 8.

Barber Shop Chronicles – National Theatre, London

Poet, playwright and performer Inua Ellams’ new show Barber Shop Chronicles, a co-production with Fuel and West Yorkshire Playhouse, explores the cultural and social space of the barber shop in six different cities around the world. It opens on June 7.

Festival of the week

Incoming Festival – New Diorama Theatre, London

Incoming, the 10-day festival of work by the best emerging theatre companies from across the country co-produced by A Younger Theatre, enters its home stretch this week. Running at the new Diorama until June 11, the line-up includes work by the Sleeping Trees, the Plasticine Men, Footprint Theatre and Clown Funeral.

Mark Shenton, lead critic

Don’t miss

Sweet Bird of Youth – Chichester Festival Theatre

Oscar and Tony-winning American actress Marcia Gay Harden makes her British stage debut in Tennessee Williams’ 1959 play Sweet Bird of Youth about a faded movie star Alexandra del Largo, and her relationship with a young gigolo and drifter (Brian J Smith). Jonathan Kent returns to Chichester to direct the production which opens on June 9.

Also worth seeing

Ben Lloyd Hughes and Claire Lams in Kiss Me. Photos: Robert Day

Kiss Me – Trafalgar Studios, London

The prolific Richard Bean’s Kiss Me transfers from Hampstead Downstairs to open on June 9, marking a change of register for him. Instead of a comedy, it is an unorthodox love story about people in crisis.

The Kite Runner – Playhouse Theatre, London

A return to the West End for the stage version of Khaled Hosseini’s best-selling novel, The Kite Runner. It begins performances from June 8.

Hamlet – Harold Pinter Theatre, London

Previews begin on June 9, prior to an official opening June 15, for the transfer of Robert Icke’s sell-out Almeida production of Hamlet, starring Andrew Scott in the title role.

Last chance to see

The Miser – Garrick Theatre

Don Juan in Soho – Wyndham’s Theatre

The West End’s mini-season of plays adapted from Moliere: The Miser and Don Juan in Soho, respectively starring Griff Rhys Jones and David Tennant in the title roles, end their runs on June 10. I wasn’t much of a fan of either show, but they’ve brought younger audiences to the West End.

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