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Top 5 theatre shows to see this week (July 2-8)

Danielle Henry and Jane Hazlegrove in rehearsals for Queens of the Coal Age. Photo: Keith Pattison

Queens of the Coal Age – Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester

Bryony Shanahan directs Maxine Peake’s play about Anne Scargill and her protest against the closure of the collieries. Like all of Peake’s writing, it’s a celebration of women who take a stand. It opens on July 3.

Maxine Peake: ‘Acting is a hard business to be brave in – you have to hang in there’ [1]

Miss Littlewood – Swan Theatre, Stratford-upon-Avon

Sam Kenyon’s new musical about the life of revolutionary theatre director Joan Littlewood is directed by Erica Whyman. The Royal Shakespeare Company production opens in Stratford-upon-Avon on July 3.

East End hero Joan Littlewood brought back to life at the RSC [2]


The King and I – London Palladium

Bartlett Sher’s Lincoln Center production of the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical transfers to the London Palladium from Broadway. Ken Watanabe and Kelli O’Hara star in the production, which opens on July 3.

The King and I star Kelli O’Hara: ‘Doing work that feels like it has a message is very satisfying’ [3]

Home, I’m Darling – Theatr Clwyd, Mold

The IT Crowd’s Katherine Parkinson stars in the premiere of Laura Wade’s new play about happy marriages, a National Theatre co-production that opens at Theatr Clwyd on July 3.

The Lieutenant of Inishmore – Noel Coward Theatre, London

Poldark’s Aidan Turner plays a terrorist deemed too violent for the IRA, in Martin McDonagh’s 2001 dark comedy. Michael Grandage directs and it opens on July 4.