I’m forever being asked, much as my brother who is a vet is asked for fixes for people’s ailing pets, what shows I’d recommend people to see. With that in mind, I’m going to offer a weekly top ten here, as well as a diary of the big openers of the week so you know what reviews to look out for (and I’ll be digesting here every Sunday, as I did here yesterday).
This week’s main openings
- Hangmen – Premiered at the Royal Court in October, Martin McDonagh’s black comedy transfers to Wyndham’s for an extended run, opening tonight (December 7), with David Morrissey (pictured) and Johnny Flynn newly joined by Andy Nyman, replacing Reece Shearsmith.
- A Christmas Carol – Jim Broadbent stars as Scrooge in Phelim McDermott’s production of Patrick Barlow’s adaptation, opening on December 9 at the Noel Coward.
- Peter Pan Goes Wrong – The Cornley Polytechnic Drama Society now has two productions in the West End: joining The Play That Goes Wrong (still at the Duchess) is their show about their attempt to get to Neverland, opening on December 9 at the Apollo.
- Hapgood – Tom Stoppard’s 1988 espionage thriller gets a rare outing, revived by Howard Davies in a production starring Lisa Dillon that is set to open at Hampstead Theatre on December 9.
- wonder.land – Damon Albarn and Moira Buffini’s new musical, premiered at the Manchester International Festival in July when I reviewed it for The Stage here, re-opens, in a reportedly revamped and extensively re-cast version, at the National’s Olivier on December 10.
- Into the Woods – Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester — Matthew Xia directs Alex Gaumond, Gillian Bevan and David Moorst (who just won this year’s Evening Standard newcomers award) starring Sondheim and Lapine’s new musical, opening on December 9.
- Chitty Chitty Bang Bang – West Yorkshire Playhouse, Leeds — James Brining directs Jon Robyns and Tamsin Carroll in an all-new production of the Sherman Brothers musical, prior to a (re-cast) national tour, opening on December 10.
My top ten shows this week