This week’s best theatre shows: our critics’ picks (November 7)

Douglas Henshall, Isabel Della-Porta, Bryan Cranston, Charles Babalola, and Patrick Poletti in rehearsal for Network. Photo: Jan Versweyveld
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Natasha Tripney

Network – National Theatre, London

Bryan Cranston switches Walter White’s meth-cooking gear for 1970s duds as he takes on the role that secured Peter Finch a posthumous Oscar in Ivo van Hove’s new production of Paddy Chayefsky’s iconic newsroom satire. Opening on November 13, it features the option for some audience members to dine onstage.

Also worth seeing

Toyah Wilcox in rehearsal for Jubilee. Photo: Johan Persson
Toyah Wilcox in rehearsal for Jubilee. Photo: Johan Persson

The Last Testament of Lillian Bilocca – Guildhall, Hull

Sarah Frankcom directs a new site-specific play by Maxine Peake about the life a local campaigner who fought to improve working conditions in the fishing industry. It takes place at the Guildhall in Hull as part of the City of Culture events.

Jubilee – Royal Exchange, Manchester

Chris Goode’s new stage adaptation of Derek Jarman’s iconic chronicle of the 1970s punk scene opens in Manchester on November 7. Promising to be a remix for a new generation it stars Toyah Willcox, who also appeared in the original.

Tabula Rasa – Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh

Opening at the Traverse ahead of a Scottish tour, Tabula Rasa, the new collaborative piece, a mixture of theatre and music, by Vanishing Point and the Scottish Ensemble explores the relationship between two friends via the music of Arvo Part. It opens on November 9.

Mark Shenton

Don’t Miss


The cast in rehearsal for Quiz. Photo: Johan Persson

Quiz – Minerva Theatre, Chichester

With Ink and Labour of Love playing side-by-side on St Martin’s Lane, will James Graham’s hit run continue with yet another new play. Quiz premieres in Chichester on November 10 in a production directed by Daniel Evans. Gavin Spokes plays Charles Ingram, ‘the coughing Major’ on Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?  It is directed by artistic director Daniel Evans.

Also worth seeing

Uncle Vanya – Home, Manchester

Home’s artistic director Walter Meierjohann directs a new production of Uncle Vanya in a version by Andrew Upton that stars Nick Holder in the title role. It opens on November 8.

The Retreat – Park Theatre, London

Kathy Burke directs the world premiere of The Retreat, a comedy drama by Sam Bain, the BAFTA award-winning creator of Peep Show, Fresh Meat and Four Lions. It opens at the park on November 7.

Festival of the week

Darbar Festival – Sadler’s Wells, London

The annual celebration of classical Indian music and dance will run at Sadler’s Well from November 9-12, kicking off on November 9 with a triple bill concert that will include Akram Khan performing a short solo focussing on his Kathak tradition.

Last chance to see

Beginning – National Theatre, London

David Eldridge’s Beginning, one of the best new plays of the year, ends its short season at the Dorfman on November 14, but has just been announced will transfer to the Ambassadors from January 15 for a 10-week season to March 24.