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This week’s best theatre shows: our critics’ picks (February 20)

Suranne Jones and director Jonathan Munby in rehearsals for Frozen. Photo: Johan Persson Suranne Jones and director Jonathan Munby in rehearsals for Frozen. Photo: Johan Persson
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Natasha Tripney

Don’t miss

Frozen – Theatre Royal Haymarket, London

Suranne Jones, Jason Watkins and Nina Sosanya star in a revival of Bryony Lavery’s acclaimed 1998 play Frozen. A portrait of loss and journey into the mind of a murderer, the play is something of a chamber piece, it’ll be intriguing to see how well it works on a large West End stage.

Also worth seeing

Brighton Rock – Theatre Royal York

Gloria Onitiri and Chris Jack in rehearsals for Brighton Rock rehearsals. Photo: Ben Pugh
Gloria Onitiri and Chris Jack in rehearsals for Brighton Rock rehearsals. Photo: Ben Pugh

The day after Frozen opens in the West End, Lavery’s adaptation of Graham Greene’s seaside-set thriller opens at York Theatre Royal ahead of a UK tour that includes a run in Brighton. Another Lavery adaption, of Alice Sebold’s The Lovely Bones, will open later this year.

The Shape of the Pain – Battersea Arts Centre, London

One of the big critical successes of last year’s Edinburgh Festival Fringe, Rachel Bagshaw and Chris Thorpe’s Fringe First-winning show about the experience of living with chronic pain – a Battersea Arts Centre co-commission with China Plate – opens in London this week.

The Shape of the Pain review at Summerhall, Edinburgh – ‘skilful but sombre’

Dust – Soho Theatre, London

Another Edinburgh hit, Milly Thomas’ Dust explores the aftermath of a young woman’s suicide. Thomas won The Stage Edinburgh Award for her intense, compelling performance in the show which she also wrote. It’s at Soho Theatre’s Upstairs space from February 20 – March 17.

Dust review at Underbelly Cowgate, Edinburgh – ‘style and substance’

Mark Shenton

Don’t Miss

Harold and Maude

Harold and Maude – Charing Cross Theatre, London

Inter-generational sex is the subject of Harold and Maude, a stage version of the 1971 film in which an 80 year old woman (Sheila Hancock) has a relationship with a man of 18 (Bill Milner). As Hancock has commented, “The theme is that love has no rules… There’s a marvellous speech about building bridges rather than walls and that seems so pertinent with Trump in the White House.” It opens on February 26.

Also worth seeing

Picnic at Hanging Rock – Barbican Theatre, London

Melbourne’s Malthouse Theatre transfers Matthew Lutton’s stage version of Joan Lindsay’s 1967 novel Picnic at Hanging Rock to London’s Barbican, running from February 21-24.

Picnic at Hanging Rock review at Lyceum Theatre, Edinburgh – ‘scrupulously presented’

Jubilee – Lyric Hammersmith, London

Chris Goode directs and adapts a stage version of Derek Jarman and James Whaley’s 1978 film Jubilee, in a production first seen at Manchester’s Royal Exchange last November. The Stage called it “scrappy and self-aware”, but veteran punk star Toyah Willcox, who also appeared in the original film, makes it interesting to see again. It opens officially on February 20.

Jubilee review at Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester – ‘scrappy and self-aware’

Crimes Under the Sun – Ustinov Studio, Bath

A comedy thriller Crimes Under the Sun, inspired by Agatha Christie, The 39 Steps and film noir, premieres at Bath’s Ustinov Studio, opening officially February 20, ahead of a national tour, presented by New Old Friends, a company founded by a husband and wife team 10 years ago.

Last chance to see

Satyagraha – London Coliseum

Phelim McDermott‘s five-star production of Philip Glass’s Sanskrit-opera Satyagraha has two final performances on February 22 and 27. The Stage’s George Hall described it as “an unforgettable experience.”

Satyagraha review at London Coliseum – ‘an unforgettable experience’


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