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Top 5 theatre shows to see this week (March 26-April 1)

Rina Takasaki and Andy Kettu in rehearsals Mountain. Photo: Johnathan Keenan

Mountains: The Dreams of Lily Kwok – Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester

Based on Helen Tse’s memoir Sweet Mandarin, In-Sook Chappell’s new play charts the life of the women behind a famous Manchester restaurant. It’s a piece about family, home and belonging, and will feature live onstage cooking – because there’s nothing so evocative of the place you belong in the world as food. Produced in conjunction with Black Theatre Live and Yellow Earth, it opens in the Royal Exchange’s studio space on March 26, ahead of a tour

The Inheritance – Young Vic, London

Stephen Daldry directs The Inheritance, the world premiere of a new play by New York playwright Matthew Lopez. Taking place in the generation after the Aids crisis and dealing with the social and emotional aftermath, the epic production will star Kyle Soller and Vanessa Redgrave. Staged in two parts, it promises to be one of the theatre events of the spring. It opens at the Young Vic on March 28.

49 Donkeys Hanged – Drum, Theatre Royal Plymouth

A surreal new comedy from Carl Grose ( pictured, below ), regular Kneehigh collaborator and writer of Grand Guignol and Horse Piss for Blood, 49 Donkeys Hanged promises to be gruesome and cartoonish. Staged as a promenade performance, it opens at Theatre Royal Plymouth’s Drum studio on  March 26.

Carl Grose

Beginners – Unicorn Theatre, London

Tim Crouch (Adler and Gibb [2], An Oak Tree [3]) directs his new play Beginners, about the complexity of growing up and being a child in a complicated world. The cast includes eight children (four at each performance). It opens on March 28 at the Unicorn Theatre.

Coraline – Barbican Theatre, London

Aletta Collins directs Mark-Anthony Turnage’s new opera based on Neil Gaiman’s wonderfully creepy children’s novella, Coraline (also the source of glorious stop-motion animation). Rory Mullarkey (whose version of The Cherry Orchard [4] recently opened in Bristol) provides the libretto. The Royal Opera production opens at the Barbican Theatre on March 29.