There are all sorts of big productions arriving in the months to come (Long Day’s Journey Into Night, the return of Amadeus, PATTI LUPONE!), but I’m using this spot to highlight some of the shows on the London fringe and around the UK (and Amsterdam…) that have piqued my interest and which I hope to get to review.
So in no particular order…
1. Oedipus, Toneelgroep Amsterdam – Robert Icke… Hans Kesting and Marieke Heebink. That is all!
2. Tiny Dynamite, Old Red Lion – It’s always interesting to look back at earlier works of writers who have gone on to bigger things and January offers the first chance in 15 years to see this Abi Morgan play, with a cast that includes Niall Bishop, Eva-Jane Willis and Tanya Fear.
3. Othello, Liverpool Everyman – With Golda Rosheuvel taking on the title role, Gemma Bodinetz’s adaptation promises to shake up Shakespeare in a most fascinating way.
4. Oranges & Elephants: The Musical, Hoxton Hall – A new all-female musical about two rival female gangs in Victorian London? Well, go on then! From an idea by Lil Warren and directed by Susie McKenna in the imposing surroundings of this East End landmark, this piece headlines their Female Parts festival.
5. Broken Glass, Watford Palace – The Tricycle’s revival of Arthur Miller’s neglected classic was an absolute highlight of 2010 and it is a production that has stuck long in my mind – so, not much to live up to! Charlotte Emmerson leads the cast here in a production that marks the 80th anniversary of Kristallnacht.
6. Sasha Regan’s All-Male Iolanthe, UK tour – These all-male Gilbert and Sullivan productions have been great fun but for my money, Iolanthe was by far the best, finding a way into the conceit that is both highly effective and deeply moving. So it’s great to see that it will be touring the UK 2018, watch this space for more details.
7 The Space – One Festival, The SpacePacked with unforgettable stories, bold new writing and world premieres, 19 brave performers take to the Space’s stage in this final year of the One Festival which celebrates solo performances in all its variety.
8 Wonderland, Nottingham PlayhouseBeth Steel’s play was first seen at the Hampstead with an extraordinary design coup, so it will be interesting to see what Morgan Large does with the space for its regional premiere in the area where it is set.
9 The Cherry Orchard, Bristol Old Vic/Royal Exchange A Bristol Old Vic and Royal Exchange Theatre co-production featuring a new translation of the play by Rory Mullarkey. the twin titanic talents of Kirsty Bushell and Jude Owusu at the head of this ensemble should make this a must-see.
10 Trust, GateJude Christian is one of our most exciting and innovative directors, so to see her working in the intimate space of the Gate again is something not to be missed, especially with this acclaimed German play.
11. Caroline or Change, HampsteadA much deserved transfer for this stunning musical, which was one of my top shows of 2017 as Sharon D Clarke continues a gorgeously rich vein of form in recent years.
12 Chip Shop Chips, Box of Tricks UK tourTheatre and fish’n’chips – a match made in heaven. The exciting Box of Tricks company are taking this Becky Prestwich play out to a vast range of unconventional venues and I really hope I get to see it, and not just for the chippy tea…
13 Happy Days, Royal ExchangeThe combination of Sarah Frankcom and Maxine Peake has already been proven to be one of the UK’s most electric collaboration and this time, they’re turning their hand to Samuel Beckett.
14 Kathleen Turner: Finding My Voice, The Other Palace This is the two-time Tony Award nominee and two-time Golden Globe Award winner’s debut cabaret and her “husky alto” seems tailor-made for it – this should be an intimate delight.
15 The Last Ship, UK tour This musical by Sting didn’t quite have the life on Broadway that it was aiming for (though I did quite like it myself) and being a most British show, it ought to do extremely well on this tour. I look forward to seeing who is cast in it.
16 The York Realist, Donmar WarehouseDonmar productions hardly need more exposure but the cast for this Peter Gill revival makes it definitely worth your attention, with the likes of Jonathan Bailey and Ben Batt onboard, it’ll be good.
17 Great Expectations, UK tourWhat more could you need than this pic of Nichola McAuliffe as Miss Havisham to convince you to see this?!
18 The Assassination of Katie Hopkins, Theatr Clywd The clickbaity nature of the title aside, this new musical by Chris Bush and Matt Winkworth about truth, celebrity and public outrage looks like it could tap into something very telling about our society. Could see my first trip over to Mold…
19 Frost/Nixon, Crucible The iconic Donmar production of this Peter Morgan play was ‘before my time’ so the chance to see it – in Sheffield – is one that I am certainly interested in taking. Jonathan Hyde and Daniel Rigby take on the roles of the duelling pair.
20 Foul Pages, HopeI promise I am interested in the play as well, but there are promotional images and there are promotional images that are relevant to my interests. Matthew Parker’s directorial choices are always interesting pieces and this fresh take on Shakespearean history looks set to continue that.
What has captured your attention so far? And is there anything else you think I should have in the diary? Let me know, and happy 2018 theatregoing.