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Top 5 theatre shows to see this week (July 16-22)

Cast of a Monster Calls in rehearsals. Photo: Manuel Harlan Cast of a Monster Calls in rehearsals. Photo: Manuel Harlan
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A Monster Calls – Old Vic, London

Based on Patrick Ness’ bestselling novel about grief, A Monster Calls is directed by Sally Cookson. She’s previously tackled Jane Eyre and Peter Pan and is adept at inventively staging novels. It opens at the Old Vic on July 17.

Director Sally Cookson: ‘Sitting among the audience is painful and absolutely terrifying’

Allelujah! – Bridge Theatre, London

Having previously directed The Habit of Art and The History Boys, Nicholas Hytner directs the world premiere of Alan Bennett’s play about the NHS. The large cast features Deborah Findlay, David Moorst, Jeff Rawle and Cleo Sylvestre. It opens at the Bridge Theatre on July 18.

The cast of Allelujah! in rehearsal. Photo: Manuel Harlan
The cast of Allelujah! in rehearsal. Photo: Manuel Harlan

Pity – Royal Court, London

The new play by Rory Mullarkey (The Wolf from the Door, Saint George and the Dragon) sees him once more mixing violent imagery with signifiers of Englishness – this time, bombs and ice cream vans. Sam Pritchard directs a cast including Sandy Grierson, The Stage Debut Award winner Abraham Popoola and members of Fulham Brass Band. It opens on July 19.

Abraham Popoola in rehearsal for Pity. Photo: Johan Persson
Abraham Popoola in rehearsal for Pity. Photo: Johan Persson

The Meeting – Minerva Theatre, Chichester

Chichester’s summer season continues with the world premiere of a new play by Charlotte Jones, writer of Humble Boy. Starring Lydia Leonard, Gerald Kyd and Jean St Clair, it opens on July 19.

Playwright Charlotte Jones: ‘The middle-aged female voice is not heard enough in theatre’

South Western – Tobacco Factory Theatres, Bristol

The Wardrobe Ensemble, the Bristol collective behind Education, Education, Education and 1972: The Future of Sex, makes intelligent, idea-filled devised work. Its new show, a “spaghetti western set in the South West”, opens on July 19.

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