As the summer break comes to end and we bid farewell to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, openings in London and across the UK will come thick and fast, and there are already several quality productions keeping the Mates busy.
So here’s our editor Lisa Martland’s Top Picks from the last week’s productions in the West End, London Fringe and beyond with thanks to the 40-plus affiliated and expert bloggers who regularly contribute to My Theatre Mates.
Appropriate – Donmar Warehouse, London
Maryam Philpott: “Branden Jacobs-Jenkins explores how even fairly recent national history can be sanitised and reduced when examined from only one perspective. Appropriate suggests that the past is never just the past.”
The Doctor – Almeida Theatre, London ★★★★
Carole Woddis: “Problematic, troubling, with a cast who give of themselves with unstinting commitment, once again Robert Icke has pulled off a brilliant reframing.”
The Weatherman – Park Theatre, London ★★★
Anne Cox: “A cold front hits Eugene O’Hare’s The Weatherman, a disturbing story about sex slavery & paedophilia, when its dark comedy is hit by a deep depression.”
Macbeth – Temple Church, London ★★★★
Claire Roderick: “This chilling and atmospheric production proves that with a stellar cast, inspired design and an intuitive understanding of Shakespeare’s text, you don’t need high tech bells and whistles to create something magical.”
The Entertainer – Curve, Leicester & Touring ★★★
Libby Purves: “Shane Richie, in a spangly purple jacket, evokes all the horrid hectic desperation of shiny-floor show hosts. He’s as nasty as Bernard Manning, as knowing as Howerd, as scampering as Forsyth but without the smile.”
Cabaret – Churchill Theatre, Bromley & Touring
Valerie Carter: “From the first moment John Partridge appears, he steals the show completely. I have seen him in many different guises over the years and he never fails to excite with his remarkable voice.”
Unlovable – Etcetera Theatre, London
Stephanie Ressort: “Carly Jurman is a skilled clown, nailing the many slapstick elements of the show with a fluid and comic grace. I can comfortably say that Judith is one of the most lovable clowns I’ve ever encountered.”