Starting off 2019 with plenty of theatre in the diary, these are the nine plays I’m particularly looking forward to seeing (in date order):
Kompromat, Vault Festival (23-27 January)
What the website says: Inspired by the still-unsolved 2010 murder of GCHQ agent Gareth Williams, Kompromat is a tense drama of double agents and our capacity for self-deception played out against a high-stakes game of love.
Why I’m excited: Having read an early draft a couple of years ago and then attended a rehearsed reading at the Arcola, I’ve got a good feel for what this might be like.
Tartuffe, National Theatre (9 February-30 April)
What the website says: A scalpel-sharp comedy looking at the lengths we go to find meaning – and what happens when we find chaos instead.
Why I’m excited: Tartuffe is one of the classics I’ve long wanted to see. John Donnelly has done the adaptation and Olivia Williams is in it. I love Olivia Williams.
Jesus Hopped The ‘A’ Train, Young Vic (14 February-30 March)
What the website says: From Pulitzer Prize winner Stephen Adly Guirgis (The Motherfucker with the Hat), comes this critically-acclaimed dark comedy about the American justice system and the contradictory nature of faith.
Why I’m excited: I loved The Motherfucker With the Hat when I saw it in 2015 at the National and I’ve been waiting for another Stephen Adly Guirgis play to hit London ever since.
All About Eve, Noel Coward Theatre. Photo: Perou
All About Eve, Noel Coward (2 Feb-11 May)
What the website says: Lifting the curtain on a world of jealousy and ambition, this new production, from one of the world’s most innovative theatre directors, asks why our fascination with celebrity, youth and identity never seems to get old.
Why I’m excited: Ivo Van Hove directing Gillian Anderson, I mean what else can you say? Van Hove is one of my favourite directors and I still gush about Gillian Anderson in A Streetcar Named Desire at the Young Vic in 2014. Oh, and PJ Harvey is doing the music.
Lipstick: The Fairytale of Iran, Omnibus Theatre (26 Feb-24 Mar)
What the website says: Part theatre, part drag cabaret, Lipstick: A Fairy Tale of Iran is a story of rage, redemption and weaponised whimsy, which straddles Tehran, Derry and London.
Why I’m excited: I saw a scratch performance last year and loved it. So pleased it’s getting a full production and can’t wait to see the polished version.
Betrayal, Harold Pinter Theatre (5 May-1 Jun)
What the website says: With poetic precision, rich humour and an extraordinary emotional force, Betrayal charts a compelling seven-year romance, thrillingly captured in reverse chronological order.
Why I’m excited: Glossing over Hamlet at RADA, it’s been a long time since Tom Hiddleston trod the boards in Coriolanus and quite frankly having sat through 5 out of 7 of the Pinter in the Pinter season (well I will have by this time next week), I’m hoping this is going to make up for it.
Grief Is A Thing With Feathers. Photo: Tim Walker
Grief is a Thing With Feathers, Barbican Theatre (25 Mar-13 Apr)
What the website says: …’a heart-wrenching meditation on love, loss and living’.
Why I’m excited: Every time I’ve seen Cillian Murphy on stage he’s been dazzlingly good. When this was on in Dublin I seriously considered flying over for the day to see it. So glad it’s transferred.
All My Sons, Old Vic (15 Apr-8 Jun)
What the website says: ‘You don’t realise how people can hate, Chris, they can hate so much they’ll tear the world to pieces…’
Why I’m excited: Sally Field. Bill Pullman. Colin Morgan. Arthur Miller play. That’s all.
Tree, Young Vic Theatre (29 Jul-24 Aug)
What the website says: Tree takes you on a thrilling journey in search of the soul and spirit of contemporary South Africa.
Why I’m excited: Created by Idris Elba and Kwame Kwei-Amah who is already programming some exciting work as the new artistic director this has already got great credentials.
What’s on your must-see list for 2019?
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Favourite theatre moments of 2018
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