So here we are in January again – from all of us here at Official London Theatre, Happy New Year!
We stand in the New Year with twelve months’ spectacular theatre on the horizon. After a quite unforgettable 2016 for many of us, London theatregoers will be delighted to learn they won’t have long to wait this January before the jaw-dropping, hard-hitting and gob-smacking productions once again start flowing into Theatreland in their masses. So dust off those January blues, and hit the theatre: here are our picks of the brilliant bunch…
Previews from 10 January, press night 12 January; Park Theatre
Dan: Those looking for a left-field start to 2017 should check out The Albatross 3rd & Main at the Park Theatre, which is written and directed by Simon David Eden. With the inauguration of the US’ next president on the horizon, this is a timely black comedy that explores the dark side of the American Dream. The play opens for previews on 10 January and runs until 4 February.
Previews from 12 January, press night 17 January; Park Theatre
Sinead: It’s cold and wet, there are pine needles literally everywhere in the house, and we’re all living with the consequences of that extra slice of Christmas pudding. It must be January. Fear not, as the Park Theatre’s kicking off the year with a brand spanking new comedy sure to break the January blues. Director Michael Fentiman brings together a must-see comedic ensemble in Raising Martha, tackling terrorism, animal rights and frogs. The perfect New Year treat!
Previews from 18 January, press night 25 January; Arts Theatre
Jim: Everybody has it – that one-night stand that they remember for the rest of their lives. Dirty Great Love Story will remind us of that faithful (or faithless) night all over again as this hilarious two-hander by Richard Marsh and Latie Hanna asks the question “can a one night stand last a lifetime?” It promises to be a dirty great night out.
Escaped Alone at the Royal Court Theatre (Photo: Johan Persson)
From 25 January; Royal Court Jerwood Theatre Downstairs
Robin: Caryl Churchill’s cordial apocalypse play needs no introduction to regular Royal Court theatregoers, having scored more theatre critics’ stars at the Sloane Square venue last year than a supermassive black hole. At just fifty minutes long, it returns with the promise of a short, sharp and hilariously surreal punch, juxtaposing the idle musings on daily life of four retired women with the startling and impending collapse of humanity. I can’t wait – for the show, not the collapse!
Previews from 25 January, press night 27 January; Lyric Hammersmith
Rachel: This looks set to be the perfect family treat to beat the New Year blues. Who doesn’t have fond memories of the cunning Mr Fox and the horrid farmers Boggis, Bunce and Bean? I’ve got high hopes that this brand new flagship production for the Roald Dahl centenary celebrations will, as promised, deliver a dahlicious theatrical feast.
Michael Esper and Cherry Jones in The Glass Menagerie at the Edinburgh International Festival (Photo: Johan Persson)
Previews from 26 January, press night 2 February; Duke of York’s Theatre
Robin: Take a revered text by the legendary playwright Tennessee Williams, bring in the beautifully artistic eye of Harry Potter And The Cursed Child Director John Tiffany, and universal acclaim is certainly on the cards. Finally reaching the West End having toured internationally, including a multi Tony Award nomination-laden stint on Broadway, this classic tale of jaded 1930s St Louis residents explores the devastation of shattered dreams. One thing’s for sure; The Glass Menagerie promises us much to reflect upon.
The Girls cast with Tim Firth and Gary Barlow
Previews from 28 January, press night 21 February; Phoenix Theatre
Robin: It may be cold outside, but that won’t deter The Girls from stunning London audiences, at long last arriving in the West End in this eagerly anticipated transfer. Laying bare the true story which formed the hit film Calendar Girls, Gary Barlow and Tim Firth lend their genius to a tale of an ordinary Women’s Institute group who, while raising money in memory of one of their husbands, become extraordinary in the process.