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Top 5 theatre shows to see this week (April 23-29)

Romola Garai in rehearsals for The Writer. Romola Garai in rehearsals for The Writer. Photo: Manuel Harlan
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The Writer – Almeida Theatre, London

Ella Hickson, whose past work includes Precious Little Talent, Boys and 2016’s Oil, returns to the Almeida with a new play about power and who wields it. Blanche McIntyre directs a cast including Romola Garai and Samuel West. Hickson is a writer willing to take risks and her work is always challenging and exciting. It opens on April 24.

Gut – Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh

Zinnie Harris directs Gut, a play by Glasgow-based writer and dramaturg Frances Poet. Poet’s play Adam, made in collaboration with Cora Bissett for the National Theatre of Scotland, is currently touring. Her new work explores the complexity of modern parenthood. It opens at the Traverse on April 24.

Absolute Hell – National Theatre, London

Originally called The Pink Room, Rodney Ackland’s 1952 play is set amid the drinking dens of Soho in a London ravaged by the Blitz. Joe Hill-Gibbins, whose recent work has involved mud-pits and sex dolls, reanimates this seedy post-war world at the National with a cracking cast including Charles Edwards, Kate Fleetwood and Danny Webb. The production opens on April 25.

The Assassination of Katie Hopkins – Theatr Clwyd, Mold

The world premiere of Chris Bush and Matt Winkworth’s new musical using verbatim techniques to explore ideas about truth, social media, free speech, celebrity and the nature of public outrage. It opens at Theatr Clwyd on April 26.

Present Laughter – Chichester Festival Theatre

Daniel Evans’ second season as artistic director at Chichester Festival Theatre opens with a lavish staging of Noel Coward’s comedy, directed by Sean Foley and starring Rufus Hound, Katherine Kingsley and Tracy-Ann Oberman. It opens on April 26.