This week’s best theatre shows: our critics’ picks (October 17)
James Fritz’s previous plays include the tense and compelling Ross and Rachel, and Four Minutes Twelve Seconds. His new play, selected for a Judges Award in the Bruntwood Prize 2015, opens at at Manchester’s Royal Exchange on October 20 in a Bush Theatre co-production directed by Jude Christian.
Also worth seeeing
Albion – Almeida Theatre, London
Following the colossal success of King Charles III Mike Bartlett and director Rupert Goold reunite on Bartlett’s new play, Albion, a Chekhov-inspired pastoral play that is very definitely not about Brexit. It opens on October 17.
The Cherry Orchard
Director Rachel O’Riordan reunites with Iphigenia in Splott playwright Gary Owen to present his new version of Chekhov’s play, re-imagined and relocated to Thatcher’s Britain. It opens at the Sherman Theatre, Cardiff, on October 17.
Every Brilliant Thing – Orange Tree Theatre, London
Not yet seen Duncan Macmillan’s Every Brilliant Thing? There’s another chance to do so this month when the ever-excellent Jonny Donahoe performs this vast-hearted and spirit-lifting story of living with depression at Richmond’s Orange Tree Theatre, London.
The Lorax – Old Vic, London
The first stage version of the Dr Seuss story The Lorax returns to the Old Vic for another highly deserved (but all-too-brief) run, opening on October 24. Adapted for the stage by David Greig, with music and lyrics by Charlie Fink, I described Max Webster’s production in my original review as “family entertainment with both meaning and a message”.
Also worth seeing
Of Kith and Kin – Bush Theatre, London
A London transfer of Chris Thompson’s new play Of Kith and Kin opens on October 20; it was described as “funny and biting” in The Stage’s review of its Sheffield opening last month. A story of surrogacy, it is directed by Sheffield’s artistic director Robert Hastie.
Hamlet – Glyndebourne, Lewes
Return run, prior to a national tour, for Glyndebourne’s world premiere production of Brett Dean’s operatic version of Shakespeare’s Hamlet, playing at Glyndebourne on October 21, 24 and 27, then visiting Canterbury, Noriwch, Milton Keynes and Plymouth. In his review for The Stage of the Glyndebourne premiere in June, George Hall wrote: “Dean’s effort is an appreciable one. A highly skilled composer, he has produced a score whose sound-world is complex yet immediate.”
Witness for the Prosecution – London County Hall
Lucy Bailey directs a cast that includes Downton Abbey’s Catherine Steadman, Philip Franks and David Yelland in Agatha Christie’s Witness for the Prosecution, being presented in a site-specific courtroom setting at County Hall, opening on October 23.
Last chance to see
Jane Eyre – National Theatre, London
The Bristol Old Vic and National co-production of a stage version of Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre reaches the end of its London run at the National on October 21.