The full company has been revealed for the opening production of Chichester’s Festival 2018, Noël Coward’s Present Laughter, with Rufus Hound as Garry Essendine, Katherine Kingsley as Liz Essendine and Tracy-Ann Oberman as Monica Reed.
In the shadow of Grenfell Tower, new west London theatre The Playground will premiere Gregory Evans’ Shirleymander, a dramatization of the Shirley Porter Westminster Council ‘homes for votes’ scandal of the 1980s. This week’s reading stars Tracy-Ann Oberman, Patrick Ryecart and Michael Simkins.
Though my life has long been filled with musicals, Fiddler on the Roof has never been the one. I’ve only ever seen it the once (2013’s touring version) and though I quite enjoyed it then, I can’t say I was hankering after seeing another production.
Omid Djalili steps up to the pivotal role of Tevye the milkman. Married to Golde and with 5 daughters (3 of marriageable age) Djalili captures a hen-pecked, hardworking weariness of the poor pious family man who dreams of maybe, just a small fortune.
There may be few real surprises to be had at Stepping Out but what Maria Friedman’s production here at the Vaudeville does, is to conjure a marvellously congenial atmosphere which is ideally suited to the play.
If you’re seeking life affirmation, celebrations of female solidarity (of a quintessentially British variety) and general uplift, my two current West End recommendations that tick all three boxes are The Girls and Stepping Out.