This week’s best theatre shows: our critics’ picks (January 16)
Lady Windermere’s Fan – Vaudeville Theatre, London
For the latest Oscar Wilde revival in Dominic Dromogoole’s continuing residency at the Vaudeville Theatre, Kathy Burke directs Lady Windermere’s Fan. The production opens on January 22. Grace Molony, who recently won The Stage Debut Award for Best Actress, plays the title role in a cast that also features Jennifer Saunders, Samantha Spiro and Kevin Bishop.
Also worth seeing
Amadeus – National Theatre, London
The return run for the National’s hit revival of Peter Shaffer’s Amadeus by director Michael Longhurst plays in the theatre where it premiered in 1979. It stars Lucian Msamati as Salieri, with Adam Gillen as Mozart, and it opens on January 18.
Madama Butterfly – Grand Theatre, Leeds
Tim Albery’s Opera North production of Puccini’s Madama Butterfly, sung in Italian with English surtitles, is revived at the Grand prior to touring, opening on January 19. French soprano Anne Sophie Duprels reprises the role of Cio-Cio San that she’s previously sung in this production.
Woman Before a Glass – Jermyn Street Theatre, London
The UK premiere of Lanie Robertson’s play Woman Before a Glass about the art collector Peggy Guggenheim is directed by American actor and director Austin Pendleton, opening on January 19.
Concert of the Week
The Railway Children – Cadogan Hall, London
A new British musical version of the celebrated story The Railway Children, written by Alex Parker and Katie Lam, receives a one-night concert performance in London on January 21, with a stellar cast that includes Carrie Hope Fletcher, David Birrell, James Bolam and Rebecca Trehearn, joined by a 22-piece orchestra and chorus.
The Birthday Party – Harold Pinter Theatre, London
Toby Jones plays the unfortunate Stanley alongside a cracking cast featuring Zoe Wanamaker and Doctor Who’s Pearl Mackie in Ian Rickson’s production of Pinter’s 1957 play, The Birthday Party, at the theatre that bears his name, 60 years after it premiered in London. It opens on the January 18.
Also worth seeing
Black Men Walking – Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester
Eclipse Theatre’s new touring production, Black Men Walking, is the first work to be staged as part of the company’s Revolution Mix programme of black British stories. Inspired by a Sheffield-based black men’s walking group and made in collaboration with rapper, producer and performer Testament, it opens in Manchester on January 22.
Still Ill – New Diorama, London
Ahead of its new production, Kandinsky brings its acclaimed show, Still Ill, about illness, the body and a little-known condition, functional neurological disorder, back to the New Diorama from January 16-27. We said it was “rife with humour, symbolism, and intelligent use of technology” in our four-star review. Sophie Steer, one of the most engaging young performers around, stars.
A Passage to India – Royal and Derngate Theatre, Northampton
Actor and playwright Asif Khan stars in Simon Dormandy’s adaptation of EM Forster’s classic novel A Passage to India for Simple8 and the Royal and Derngate. It opens in Northampton on January 16, ahead of a London run at the Park Theatre, London.
Festival of the week
Calm Down Dear – Camden People’s Theatre, London
Calm Down Dear, Camden People’s Theatre’s festival of feminist theatre, returns for a fifth year this week. Focusing on artists of colour and headlined by Racheal Ofori’s So Many Reasons, the festival includes work by poet and performer Vanessa Kisuule and new scratch performances from Libby Liburd and The Stage Edinburgh Award-winner Caroline Horton. It runs until February 4.