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This week’s best theatre shows: our critics’ picks (February 13)

Carey Mulligan in rehearsals for Girls and Boys. Photo: Johan Persson Carey Mulligan in rehearsals for Girls and Boys. Photo: Johan Persson
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Natasha Tripney

Don’t Miss

Girls and Boys – Royal Court, London

Though best known to many for writing the book to Matilda the Musical, Dennis Kelly has written some pretty unsettling and brutal plays in the past. His latest, Girls and Boys, is a one-woman play about the unravelling of a relationship starring Carey Mulligan – in her first stage role since David Hare’s Skylight – and directed by Lyndsey Turner. It opens at the Royal Court’s Jerwood Theatre Downstairs on February 15.

Also worth seeing

The Almighty Sometimes – Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester

Kendall Feaver’s Bruntwood-winning play The Almighty Sometimes, about the complexities of mother-daughter relationships, mental health and medication opens at Manchester’s Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester on February 14. Julie Hesmondhalgh and Sharon Duncan Brewster star.

Julie Hesmondhalgh and Norah Lopez Holden cast in new Bruntwood play

Juliet and Romeo – Battersea Arts Centre, London

Subtitled A Guide to Long Life and Happy Marriage, Lost Dog’s new piece Juliet and Romeo explore the cultural and social impact of Shakespeare’s story of teenage love. It’s performed by Ben Duke and Solene Weinachter and opens on February 15.

A Number – The Other Room, Cardiff

The award-winning Cardiff fringe theatre continues to programme ambitiously with a new production of Caryl Churchill’s two-hander about fatherhood, identity and cloning opening on February 15.

Mark Shenton

Don’t Miss

The Shadow Factory – NST City, Southampton

Anita Dobson, Samuel Hodges (director) and Hilton McRae in rehearsals for The Shadow Factory. Photo: Manuel Harlan
Anita Dobson, Samuel Hodges (director) and Hilton McRae in rehearsals for The Shadow Factory. Photo: Manuel Harlan

The world premiere of Howard Brenton’s The Shadow Factory inaugurates Nuffield’s brand-new theatre NST City on February 15. It tells a local story set during the Battle of Britain in 1940. Artistic director Samuel Hodges directs a stellar cast that includes Anita Dobson, Catherine Cusack, Hilton McRae, David Birrell and Daniel York. The new venue is part of Studio 144, a new £30m arts venue in the city centre.

Also worth seeing

Angry – Southwark Playhouse, London

The world premiere of Philip Ridley’s new play Angry, opens on February 16. It will feature Olivier nominated Tyrone Huntley and Georgie Henley in five gender-neutral monologues on refugees, millennial anger and interstellar travels – which actor performs each one will alternate night-to-night.

The B*easts – Bush Theatre, London

Another monologue The B*easts, written and performed by Monica Dolan, comes to London on February 15. The provocative piece about the sexualisation of children won Dolan The Stage Edinburgh Award at last year’s Fringe.

The B*easts review at Underbelly Cowgate, Edinburgh – ‘intentionally challenging’

Jubilee – Lyric Hammersmith, London

Derek Jarman’s 1978 film Jubilee is adapted for the stage, with a cast led by Toyah Willcox, one of the film’s original stars. Chris Goode directs and adapts Jarman and James Whaley’s screenplay, in a production transferring from Manchester’s Royal Exchange to London on February 20. The theatre-in-the-round configuration will be recreated at Hammersmith.

Jubilee review at Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester – ‘scrappy and self-aware’

Cabaret of the week

Barb Jungr and John McDaniel Sing Sting – Pheasantry, London

The irrepressible Barb Jungr joins forces with American pianist and arranger John McDaniel once again, moving on from the Beatles (the subject of their last show together) to the repertoire of the iconic Geordie-born Sting, running February 15-17.