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Top 5 theatre shows to see this week (March 19-25)

Sharon D Clarke and the cast in rehearsals for Caroline, Or Change. Photo: Marc Brenner

Caroline, Or Change – Hampstead Theatre, London

Sharon D Clarke reprises her role in the acclaimed Chichester Festival Theatre production of Tony Kushner’s 2003 musical set in Louisiana during the Civil Rights era. Michael Longhurst’s “complex, joyful, and exuberant” production opens at Hampstead Theatre on March 19.

Caroline, Or Change review at Minerva Theatre, Chichester – ‘complex, joyful, exuberant’ [1]

The Great Wave – National Theatre, London

While there have been wibbles in the Olivier, the National Theatre has been programming some thrilling stuff in the Dorfman. Next up is Francis Turnly’s new thriller The Great Wave, set in Japan and North Korea. Directed by Indhu Rubasingham in a co-production with the Tricycle Theatre, it opens on March 19.

Macbeth – Royal Shakespeare Theatre, Stratford-upon-Avon

Following the National Theatre’s grimy, uninspiring Macbeth [2], the Royal Shakespeare Company stages Polly Findlay’s production of the play – the third major Macbeth to open this month. Christopher Eccleston, whom Findlay previously directed in Antigone at the National, stars opposite the always compelling Niamh Cusack. It opens on March 20.

Niamh Cusack and Christopher Eccleston in Macbeth. Photo: Paul Stuart
Niamh Cusack and Christopher Eccleston in Macbeth. Photo: Paul Stuart

Misty – Bush Theatre, London

Playwright and actor Arinze Kene – boxer Joe in Girl from the North Country [3] and a honey-throated Sam Cooke in One Night in Miami [4] at the Donmar Warehouse – stars in his new solo show Misty, a mixture of gig-theatre and urban storytelling directed by the Bush Theatre’s associate director Omar Elerian. Kene’s plays as a writer include Good Dog and God’s Property. Misty opens on March 21.

Arinze Kene. Photo: Bronwen Sharp
Arinze Kene. Photo: Bronwen Sharp

Agnes Colander – Ustinov Studio, Bath

Trevor Nunn directs the world premiere of this rediscovered play by Edwardian playwright Harley Granville Barker. Playwright Richard Nelson (The Apple Family Plays [5], The Gabriels [6]) has edited the text and Naomi Frederick stars in the title role. It opens the Ustinov spring season on March 21.