One thing is for sure, it’s a very good season for drama in London’s West End. With top talent moving from screen to stage, stories adapting from books to floorboards, and April showers returning, grab a ticket for one of these top productions and shelter your head in the theatre this spring.
For a Noel Coward top up, why not see Blithe Spirit
Noel Coward is a playwright name you’ll hear bandied about, so if you’re not familiar with his work, this is the perfect opportunity to get on the bandwagon. It’s made extra special with the lead character, Madame Arcati played by the formidable Angela Lansbury – of Bed Knobs And Broomsticks and Murder She Wrote fame. Novelist Charles Condomine (Charles Edwards) invites medium Madame Arcati to his house to conduct a séance as part of research for a new book. Unwittingly Madame Arcati summons the ghost of Charles’ former, now deceased, wife Elvira (Jemima Rooper), who in tern makes a play to reclaim her husband – much to the chagrin of Charles’ new wife Ruth (Janie Dee). Love triangles and a mischievous medium, how will this other worldly farce end?
Who was it that said love is a sort of mental illness? They may well have had Fatal Attraction in mind, as this play is a harrowing story of love, obsession and revenge. If you thought the film was thrilling and dramatic, wait until you see it on the stage up close and personal as a brief affair between Alex and Dan spirals out of control and into a living nightmare with terrifying consequences. With a glittering cast of Mark Bazeley, Natascha McElhone and Kristen Davis, be sure to book early to avoid the terrifying consequence of missing out.
Secrets, lies and family ties. It’s all there in Other Desert Cities
Meticulously staged at The Old Vic this story, set in the desert city of Palm Springs, takes you through a rollercoaster of emotions as you join the Wyeth family one Christmas eve. As the parents attempt to lure their children back to Florida to live, conflicts and past decisions and tragedies begin to surface. As a result sparks start flying, tensions begin rising and serious home truths are revealed shifting the whole family dynamic. Other Desert Cities is a beautifully written play from Jon Robin Baitz (who also brought you the series Brothers and Sisters), with sterling performances from the cast. We guarantee you will both love and hate every character at some point throughout the evening. Highly recommended and on now.
Investigate the dealings of murder trial with Twelve Angry Men
Get hooked on the murder trial of a young delinquent accused of killing his own father. As the jurors sit to assess the child’s fate, dilemmas arise as what they initially thought about the accused, rife with prejudice and preconceived ideas, lead the trial through twists and turns to a nail biting end. Based on the brilliant 1957 three-time Academy Award nominated film and starring Martin Shaw, Jeff Fahey, Nick Moran and Robert Vaughn – showing now at The Garrick Theatre this is not to be missed.
Check out the screaming success of Ghost Stories
Let’s face it; being scared can be really fun. ‘Blair Witch Project’ – was a sensation. ‘The Shining’ – is a classic. Theatre production ‘Ghost Stories’ – has been seen by over 350, 000 people worldwide. Written by The League of Gentlemen’s master of the macabre Jeremy Dyson, and Andy Nyman (think Derren Brown’s show) this chilling, thrilling production has received (perhaps ghoulishly) glowing reviews and continues to pull brave yet feverishly enthused crowds. Giving a new meaning to the term ‘dark arts’ you can get in on the action of Ghost Stories now at the Arts Theatre. Go on, take a deep breath and be brave.
Comedy of cultural proportions in Relative Values
Another chance to brush up on your Noel Coward plays, Relative Values is classic comedy about culture clashes and good old fashioned high class snobbery. When a glamorous Hollywood diva Miranda becomes engaged to a stiff upper lip British playboy Nigel, Earl of Marshwood, not everyone is happy about it. As it is revealed that Miranda is in fact the younger sister of housemaid Moxie, who threatens to leave the family if Nigel and Miranda marry as it would be totally inappropriate for her to work in service of her sister. Mother of the groom, Dora upon realising the consequences of losing Moxie, sets about scheming a way to rectify the situation. But when Miranda’s former lover, Hollywood hunk Don returns back on the scene to win Miranda back further spanners are thrown into the works. Situational comedy at its best and playing at the Harold Pinter Theatre now.
I Found My Horn
If you like a wry wit, this might be the play for you. The story follows a man in a midlife crisis, who at rock bottom seeks to make himself memorable and learn to play music to the highest level, setting himself an almost impossible task. Semi-autobiographical the play is a touching story that intertwines making music with facing personal demons and a desperation for redemption and success. The play is funny, serious and moving, and starts 1st April at the Trafalgar Studio.
If you’re a sucker for an underdog or a softy for a rebel, this play is for you. Set in the 1930s at a public school, the audience get to know schoolboy outsiders Judd and Bennett; one is coming to terms with homosexuality, the other already controversially a committed Marxist and both coming face to face with the Establishment when scandal hits the school and their fates become intertwined. There’s subtle wit and thought provoking drama building a gripping and climactic story. This winner of an Olivier Award which has previously launched the careers of stars including Kenneth Branagh, Daniel Day-Lewis, Rupert Everett and Colin Firth, leaving bit shoes to that the cast fill with great success. The show kicks off on 26th March at the Trafalgar Studio.
Let The Right One In
A tense play about loneliness and love this play recently won the prestigious South Bank Sky Arts award. Oskar, a young boy bullied at school and from a broken home finds himself alone and desperately longing for friendship. When Eli, a troubled young truant moves in next door, Oskar finds a kindred spirit as they recognise a shared emptiness and sense of kindred spirits. When a series of brutal killings start occurring in their neighbourhood, these misfits become deeply connected before the shocking truth about Eli pushes Oskar’s loyalty – and love – to its outer limits: A heart-breaking and chilling tale of loneliness, love and legend, launches in Apollo Theatre on 26th March.
Big Brother is watching you in 1984
Based on George Orwell’s bestselling book of the same name, the play is a depiction of Orwell’s vision of a dystopian society and the Big Brother state brought vividly to life. As harrowing as it is topical, look into a world of continued surveillance, ceaseless war and organised hatred. A society held in a grip of fear and absolute conformity where freedom is slavery, war is peace, ignorance is strength and love is forbidden. So imagine, what do two people do when they are in love? What happens when someone begins to see differently? The play presents the story of Winston Smith in the year 1984, after global atomic war has destroyed the society that we recognise. As Winston begins to rebel and reject Big Brother, and falls for the beautiful Julia, he suffers grave consequences at the hands of the Party establishment. This will be a popular play, and takes to the stage at The Playhouse Theatre from the 28th April, so book tickets now.