Top 10 theatre openings in London this March
We may be in the middle of a cold snap, but that doesn’t mean that London’s theatres aren’t full of hot new shows this March. Here are our top 10 to see this month.
Based on Ingmar Bergman’s Academy Award-winning film, this play is about a Swedish brother and sister and the remarriage of their mother following their father’s death. Stephen Beresford’s adaptation at the Old Vic is directed by Max Webster, and it stars national treasure and six-time Olivier Award nominee Penelope Wilton as the children’s grandmother Helena.
Rebecca Frecknall directs this revival of Tennessee Williams’ classic play set over the course of a summer in Mississippi as a romance almost blossoms between a minister’s daughter and a free-spirited doctor. The production, which looks positively musical with a set littered with upright pianos, stars Patsy Ferran (recently described as a ‘sparky new star of the stage’ by our critic Mark Shenton).
Despite being written almost 60 years ago, Gore Vidal’s play about an American presidential campaign is bound to feel distinctively timely. Set in the ‘60s, it is about two politicians vying for the sitting President’s endorsement to become their party’s candidate for the White House. Daniel Evans’ production previously toured the UK to a great reception, and boasts a cast which includes Martin Shaw, Maureen Lipman, Jeff Fahey, Glynis Barber and Honeysuckle Weeks.
Shakespeare’s intense tragedy is brought to life on the National’s biggest stage by the building’s artistic director Rufus Norris, 25 years after his last Shakespeare production. And this big production has two huge actors at its core in Rory Kinnear and Anne-Marie Duff. Expect violence, gore, and – by the look of rehearsal images – a surprise amount of pole dancing.
Chichester Festival Theatre will provide London with at least three exciting transfers this year: James Graham’s Quiz will open at the Noel Coward in April, and then Ian McKellen will bring his Lear to the Duke of York’s. But first, Sharon D Clarke stars in Tony Kushner’s musical about an eight-year old boy and the maid he idolises. Michael Longhurst’s production opened in Chich to a string of five star reviews last year and gets a well deserved transfer to the Hampstead.
Francis Turnly’s new thriller is set in both Japan and North Korea, and centres around two sisters who are caught up in a storm. One survives, the other is lost at sea, and the ordeal winds up becoming a globally significant event. The play is a co-production with the Tricycle Theatre and is directed by their artistic director Indhu Rubasingham.
Manuel Puig’s novel is the tale of a friendship that develops between two radically different men incarcerated in a Latin American prison. José Rivera and Allan Baker’s adaptation is directed by Laurie Sansom, and stars Samuel Barnett (The History Boys) and Declan Bennett (Jesus Christ Superstar).
Stephen Sondheim’s musical Assassins is revived at the Pleasance Theatre. With a book by John Weidman, it looks at why the 9 Americans who attempted to assassinate the sitting president came to the conclusion that it was the best course of action to bring about change. Directed by Louise Bakker, is features songs like “Everybody's Got The Right" and "The Ballad of Booth".
This spoof-musical is about 8-year-old Tina Denmark who will do absolutely anything to land the killer lead role in her school’s upcoming play. It first ran off-Broadway in 1992 and takes jabs at shows like Gypsy and Mame. It gets its UK premiere at the Arts Theatre and will star Dancing on Ice judge Jason Gardiner with Lara Denning, Kim Maresca, Harriet Thorpe and Tracie Bennett.
Vanessa Redgrave stars in Matthew Lopez’s two-part play inspired by EM Forster’s novel Howards End. Stephen Daldry directs the production, which is the first at the Young Vic since David Lan’s departure after running the theatre for 18 years.