Stars on stage to watch out for in London in 2018
London’s West End attracts some of the biggest names in the acting business. 2017 saw the likes of Andrew Garfield, Nathan Lane, Sheena Easton, John Boyega, Daniel Radcliffe, Imelda Staunton and Amanda Holden all tread the boards in the capital. And 2018 will be no different. Here are some of the biggest names already announced to be making appearances on stage in 2018.
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Doctor Foster is one of the most talked-about BBC dramas of the decade, as GP Gemma Foster faces a series of betrayals at the hands of her husband Simon (Bertie Carvel). Suranne Jones plays the title character, and will return to the London stage in 2018 when she appears in Bryony Lavery’s play Frozen. The Tony Award-winning play is about the search for a ten-year-old girl Rhona, and with Jones playing the girl’s mother Nancy.
Photo: ClaireWilliamsPhotography (flickr)
Harold Pinter’s play about a piano player, Stanley Webber, staying at a guesthouse in an English seaside town who is visited by two suspicious strangers on the day of his birthday party. Ian Rickson’s production is littered with big names including nine-time Olivier Award nominee Zoe Wanamaker, Stephen Mangan (Episodes), Toby Jones (Captain America), Pearl Mackie (Doctor Who), Peter Wight (Hamlet) and Tom Vaughan-Lawlor (Love/Hate).
As Strictly Ballroom makes its way to the West End, singer Will Young returns to the stage. Young made a name for himself as a finalist in the first series of talent show Pop Idol. He has made a name of himself in musical theatre, earning himself an Olivier Award nomination for his role in the 2013 revival of Cabaret in the West End. In Baz Luhrmann’s musical, he will take on a newly created role of the band leader, alongside the show’s stars Zizi Strallen and Jonny Labey.
Jeremy Irons and Lesley Manville
Following a run at the Bristol Old Vic, Jeremy Irons and Lesley Manville are coming to the West End in Richard Eyre’s production of Long Day’s Journey into Night. Irons (who is a Tony Award winner for his role in the 1984 play The Real Thing) and Manville (who won an Olivier in 2013 for Ghosts at the Almeida) play the parents of the Tyrone family, who are forced to face their problems over the course of one day in 1912.
The original Norma Desmond, the Broadway’s first Eva Perón, and London’s Fantine, Patti LuPone is a musical theatre legend. This autumn, she stars alongside Rosalie Craig in the first gender-swapped production of Stephen Sondheim’s Company. Directed by Marianne Elliot, the show will see the normally-male lead Bobby become Bobbie, a singleton unable to maintain a relationship. LuPone plays Joanne, one of Bobbie’s cynical older friends who only drinks when Bobbie is around.
Ross Poldark himself Aidan Turner stars in Martin McDonagh’s play The Lieutenant of Inishmore as Mad Padraic, a member of the IRA whose methods prove to be too extreme for the group. Padraic is intent on revenge after finding out his beloved cat, Wee Thomas, has been compromised. The play premiered in Stratford-upon-Avon in 2001, and ran at the Garrick Theatre as part of a tour. Turner will surely give one of the most intense performances of his career during the play, which is directed by Michael Grandage.
Photo courtesy Starbright31 (flickr)
Alfred Enoch and Alfred Molina
Alfred Molina was nominated for a Tony Award when he appeared in John Logan’s Red on Broadway in 2009. This year, he reprises the role of artist Mark Rothko who is tasked with creating new murals for the luxurious Four Seasons restaurant. Alfred Enoch, star of the NBC series How to Get Away with Murder, plays Rothko’s assistant Ken, a role which won Eddie Redmayne a Tony Award in the original production.
After his hit play Oslo ran in the West End last year, Bartlett Sher brings his production of The King and I to the London Palladium in 2018, and with it he brings actor Ken Watanabe. The Japanese actor is best known for his work on Hollywood films such as The Last Samurai, Godzilla, Inception and the Transformers series. He is set to make his London stage debut alongside Kelli O’Hara in the summer.
Mark Rylance was the first artistic director of Shakespeare’s Globe when it opened in 1995, and remained at the helm for a decade. Since leaving the theatre in 2005, he has had starring roles in films such as Dunkirk, The BFG and Bridge of Spies. As part of Michelle Terry’s first season in charge at the Globe, Rylance returns to the theatre for the first time in six years to play Iago in Othello.