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28 October 2014
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More shows you shouldn't miss...
Some Girl(s) - see below for details
Friends star David Schwimmer is one of a number of high-profile stars in the West End this month. More below...
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Our critic Mark Shenton continues his essential dates for your May
theatre-going...


FIRST NIGHT: Kwame Kwei-Armah in Elmina's Kitchen

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THEATRE REVIEWS AND FIRST NIGHTS:

acorn antiques
national anthems
whose life is it anyway?
mary poppins
the producers
the woman in white
mamma mia!
the history boys
when harry met sally
jerry springer the opera

joseph and the amazing technicolor dreamcoat
blood brothers

we will rock you

Theatre critic Mark Shenton

our theatre critic Mark Shenton

SEE ALSO
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latest theatre news

theatre index

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Tue 17 - Tue 31 May on this page
Back to first half of the month


Tue 17 May

The Woman BeforeSaskia Reeves and Helen Baxendale star in Roland Schimmelpfennig's The Woman Before, opening tonight at the Royal Court Theatre (following previews from 12 May) in Richard Wilson's production.

A woman arrives at the front door to remind a man of a promise he made twenty years before – and tells his wife, "Frank and I were lovers, and still are now."
Box office: 020 7565 5000
Web: Royal Court Theatre
(The BBC is not responsible for the content of external websites)


Wed 18 May

Patti BoulayeHackney Empire hosts the world premiere run of Patti Boulaye's Sun Dance, a new musical featuring a cast of 36 dancers, singers and musicians who celebrate the colours and music of Africa in a display of ceremonial dances, rituals and initiation ceremonies.

Dougie Squires – best known as choreographer of television's The Young Generation and Second Generation – directs.
Box office: 020 8985 2424
Web: Sundance

Also tonight: Mark Rylance launches his final season as artistic director at Shakespeare's Globe by starring as Prospero in a 'modern practices' production of The Tempest, opening tonight (following previews from 6 May).

Directed by Tim Carroll, it uses clothing, music, dance and settings possible in the Globe of 2005.
Box office: 020 7401 9919

Web: Shakespeare's Globe

The End of the WorldAnd: Laurie Anderson brings The End of the World, the second of her trilogy of solo shows to the Barbican Theatre, following the success of Happiness there two years ago, for a run of four performances from tonight.

Part travelogue, part personal theories and dreams, Anderson weaves narrative and music to paint a picture of American culture.
Box office: 0845 120 7511

Web: Barbican Theatre/ bite


Thur 19 May

Theatre of BloodThe National Theatre premieres a stage version of the 1973 film Theatre of Blood, opening in the Lyttelton tonight (following previews from May 9), in which an old-time actor is inspired by the verses of Shakespeare to devise ways to kill off, literally, the critics who he thinks have ruined his career.

Jim Broadbent, who last appeared at the National in The Pillowman, stars as the disaffected thespian, in a cast that also includes Sally Dexter, Bette Bourne and Rachael Stirling.
Box office: 020 7452 3000
Web: National Theatre

Ewan McGregorAlso tonight: previews begin tonight for a new production of the classic Broadway musical Guys and Dolls at the Piccadilly Theatre, prior to opening on 1 June.

Ewan McGregor (right) makes his West End musical debut as Sky Masterson in a cast that also features Broadway's Jane Krakowski, Douglas Hodge and Jenna Russell in Michael Grandage's production.
Box office: 0870 060 0123
Web: Guys And Dolls - the Musical


Fri 20 May

The Bush premieres Lin Coghlan's Kingfisher Blue, opening tonight (following previews from 18 May). Set on a crumbling estate in South London, it revolves around a plumber who has an obsession with karaoke and a heart of solid gold.

It is directed by Paul Miller.
Info: 020 7610 4224
Web: Bush Theatre

Mon 23 May

The Big LifeThe Theatre Royal, Stratford East's production of The Big Life transfers to the West End's Apollo Theatre tonight (following previews from 11 May), where it remarkably becomes the first-ever indigenously created British musical, set amongst the black community, to open in the West End.

It has a score by Paul Joseph, book by Paul Sirett and direction by actor-turned-director Clint Dyer.
Box office:
0870 145 1163

Hedda GablerAlso tonight: the Almeida's hit production of Ibsen's Hedda Gabler, featuring Eve Best in the title role and Iain Glen as Judge Brack, transfers to the Duke of York's Theatre where it opens tonight (following previews from 19 May), for a 12-week season to 6 August.

Richard Eyre directs.
Box office: 0870 060 6623

Tue 24 May

Some Girl(s)Friends' actor David Schwimmer (right) makes his West End debut in Neil LaBute's new play Some Girl(s), opening at the Gielgud Theatre tonight (following previews from 12 May).

David Grindley's production also features Saffron Burrows and Lesley Manville in a play that exposes the modern male and his take on life, love and success. LaBute will also have another new play on in London this month – see 31 May.
Box office: 0870 890 1105

Web: Some Girl(s)

Val KilmerAlso tonight: Hollywood actor Val Kilmer (right, best known for his appearances in such films as Top Gun, Batman Forever and The Saint) begins previews tonight in a new stage version of James M Cain's novel The Postman Always Rings Twice at the Playhouse Theatre (prior to opening on 7 June).

Adapted by Andrew Rattenbury, this production was first seen at the West Yorkshire Playhouse in Leeds, with Charlotte Emmerson returning to the role she played there.
Box office: 0870 060 6631

And: Ron Moody, the original 'Fagin' in the musical Oliver! on both stage and screen, presents a re-working of his one-man show "Move Along… Sideways" at the Shaw Theatre for six nights only as part of the Musical Ladies and Gentlemen of the Stage season there.
Box office: 0870 033 2600


Wed 25 May

Tom Courtenay stars in the British premiere of Brian Friel's The Home Place, opening at the Comedy Theatre tonight (following previews from 7 May).

Courtenay reprises the performance he gave at the play's Dublin opening in February 2005 of a widowed man, living in the serene village of Ballybeg in 1878, with his son and the housekeeper who both of them are in love with. Former RSC artistic director Adrian Noble directs.
Box office:
0870 060 6622

The Tiger LilliesAlso tonight: the Tiger Lillies – the avante-garde band best known theatrically for their work on Shockheaded Peter – open in a season of late-night cabaret performances at Soho Theatre tonight (following previews from 23 May).
Box office: 0870 429 6883

Web: Soho Theatre


Thur 26 May

On the Shore of the Wide WorldOn the Shore of the Wide World, a new play by Simon Stephens whose previous plays include Bluebird, Herons and Country Music (all seen at the Royal Court), receives its London premiere at the National's Cottesloe Theatre tonight (following previews from 20 May).

Described as a tender play about discord, heartbreak and the redemptive power of love across three generations, it is directed by Sarah Frankcom.
Box office:
020 7452 3000
Web: National Theatre

Also tonight: Michael Gieleta directs the European premiere of Pulitzer-prize winning playwright Nilo Cruz's Hortensia and the Museum of Dreams, opening at the Finborough Theatre in Earl's Court tonight (following previews from 24 May).

First seen in Florida in 2001, the play explores themes of love, loss, faith and oppression in Havana, Cuba, in 1961 and 1998.
Box office: 0870 4000 838
Web: Finborough Theatre


Fri 27 May

The Quare FellowOxford Stage Company bring Kathy Burke's production of Brendan Behan's The Quare Fellow back to the Tricycle Theatre where it was a sell out success last year, for a run that opens tonight (following previews from 25 May) to 2 July.

The cast of 17 includes Sean Gallagher, Sean Campion, Jason Kavanagh and Tony Rohr.
Box office:
020 7328 1000
Web: Tricycle Theatre

Also tonight: Croydon's Warehouse Theatre presents the premiere of Matthew Todd's Blowing Whistles, a play that looks at modern gay relationships and asks if gay culture has been quite as successful as it seems. Phil Wilmott directs.
Box office: 020 8680 4060
Web: Warehouse Theatre


Tues 31 May

This Is How It Goes poster graphicNeil LaBute – whose Some Girl(s) has just opened in the West End (see 24 May) – is simultaneously represented in London by the Donmar Warehouse premiere of This Is How It Goes, where it opens tonight (following previews from 26 May).

New York director Moises Kaufman directs a cast that includes British film and stage actor Ben Chaplin and Megan Dodds in a play that puts race and infidelity in small-town America under the microscope.
Box office:
0870 060 6624

Web: Donmar Warehouse

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Back to: shows you shouldn't miss: part one

Jump to: latest theatre news and theatre index

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