With summer now certifiably on the horizon, May’s selection of incoming shows sees London’s Theatreland truly starting to heat up with a brilliant selection of dramas, comedies and musicals. We’ve picked out some of the shows opening this month that you need to catch.
Sovremennik Theatre’s Two For The Seesaw
Now playing at the Piccadilly Theatre until 13 May
Dan: A rare and unmissable chance to see Moscow’s internationally renowned Sovremennik Theatre as they return to the West End for an all-too-brief run. They’ll be staging three of their most celebrated productions; Three Comrades, Two For The Seesaw and Three Sisters. The productions will be performed in Russian, but before you panic and starting learning the language, the thoughtful producers will be providing surtitles.
Miriam Margolyes in Madame Rubinstein at the Park Theatre
Now previewing, press night 3 May; Park Theatre
Dan: The incomparable Miriam Margolyes and the divine Frances Barber lead Madame Rubinstein at the Park Theatre. Set in 1950s New York, the play tells the story of cosmetics entrepreneur Helena Rubinstein, who is locked in a power struggle with bitter rivals Elizabeth Arden and Revlon. A tenacious visionary, Rubinstein rose to become one of the richest women in America. Lipsticks at dawn.
Andrew Garfield (Prior), James McArdle (Louis), Russell Tovey (Prior 1) and Nathan Lane (Prior 2) in Angels In America (Photo: Helen Maybanks)
Now previewing, press night 4 May; National Theatre, Lyttelton
Robin: Tony Kushner’s Angels In America. 25th Anniversary production. Denise Gough. Andrew Garfield. Nathan Lane. Russell Tovey. James McArdle. Marianne Elliot. Let me know when you’d like me to stop listing the reasons we can’t wait to catch the dual-parted seminal drama at the National Theatre this season – although I can’t promise we’ll be any less excited for what is truly an unmissable theatrical occasion.
Previews from 2 May, press night 9 May; Park Theatre
Rachel: Internationally acclaimed director Yaël Farber is bringing her retelling of the infamous biblical story to the Olivier stage, promising to turn it on its head, placing Salomé at the centre of a revolution. If the show is anything like Yaël’s previous works, notably the remarkable Les Blancs, audiences are in for an epic treat.
The cast of Our Ladies Of Perpetual Succour (Photo: Manuel Harlan)
Previews from 9 May, press night 15 May; Duke of York’s Theatre
Sinead: Six Catholic school girls, one night in the city and an unquenchable thirst for the thrill of life. Our Ladies Of Perpetual Succour beats to the drum of youthful rebellion and inevitable change. After a sell-out run at the National Theatre last summer, the theatre gods have blessed you with another chance to see this Olivier Award-winning production – don’t let them down.
Anthony Head (Sir John Fletcher) & Eve Best (Olivia Brown) in Love In Idleness (Photo: Catherine Ashmore)
Previews from 11 May, press night 18 May; Apollo Theatre
Jim: Any chance you can get to see Eve Best in a production by Trevor Nunn, TAKE IT! After its critically acclaimed run at the Menier Chocolate Factory, this hilarious revival tackles love, youthful ideology and a complicated relationship set in the final years of World War II. Did I mention that Eve Best is in it? That’s reason enough to see Love In Idleness.
John Boyega in Woyzeck at The Old Vic
Previews from 15 May, press night 23 May; The Old Vic
Rachel: It may not be easy to say, but this one has got to be easy to sell. It’s adapted by Jack Thorne, the genius behind Harry Potter And The Cursed Child; stars John Boyega, better known to Star Wars fans as Finn from The Force Awakens; and is legendary in its influential theatrical legacy. And all in the beautiful surroundings of The Old Vic.
Previews from 16 May, press night 18 May; Arts Theatre
Jim: Using three definitive ages of Judy Garland, Ray Rackham’s extraordinary biographical musical covers the young Judy (Wizard of Oz), the height-of-her-career Judy (Judy Garland at the Palace), and the wiser and drug enduced older Judy (Judy on CBS). This promises to be a captivating night and account of an icon.
Previews from 19 May, press night 25 May; Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre
Robin: What’s better than the uplifting, toe-tapping, heart-warming buzz of musical theatre? When you take it al fresco. Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre’s brilliant summer musicals have become something of an essential annual staple in the London theatre scene, and in the shape of this year’s On The Town, an incredible Bernstein score, mind-blowing Drew McOnie choreography, and star-powered casting (Danny Mac, Fred Haig and Jeremy Taylor) all lie in store. I’ll bring the Pimm’s.
Miranda Hart as Miss Hannigan in Annie (Photo: Matt Crockett)
Previews from 23 May, press night 5 June; Piccadilly Theatre
Sinead: Multi award-winning comedy writer, actor and author Miranda Hart makes her West End debut playing Miss Hannigan in the beloved family musical Annie. With timeless classics like Tomorrow and You’re Never Fully Dressed Without A Smile, this production of Annie is sure to fill you with a warm sense of nostalgia and oodles of Hart… Miranda Hart!