Never Mind The Blog… Here’s May 2018

NMTB May

An exciting couple of months coming up on the fringe – this month I’m checking out Theatre N16’s new venue for a couple of shows, for one thing, and next month The Bunker Theatre will be a bit of a hotbed for new writing.

By now, you won’t be surprised that there’s a lot coming up in London this month. Before It Starts runs at Camberwell’s Blue Elephant Theatre, The Chess Player has a stint at OSO Arts Centre, and the King’s Head Theatre welcomes Baby Box and NOF*CKSGIVEN. Cabaret evening What Would Julie Do? comes to the Pheasantry, Rachel Causer performs Lippy at both Wandsworth Arts Fringe & Brighton Fringe, and The Buzz plays Clapham’s Bread & Roses Theatre; on the West End, Red comes to the Wyndham’s and Killer Joe opens at Trafalgar Studios, marking Orlando Bloom’s return to the London stage.

Elsewhere… This year’s Brighton Festival kicks off on 5 May, curated by David Shrigley (and featuring The Flying Lovers of Vitebsk!), plus Random/Generations opens at Chichester’s Minerva Theatre, The Last Ship floats into Leeds Grand Theatre for a short run, and Samuel Beckett’s Happy Days (starring Maxine Peake) opens at Manchester’s Royal Exchange.

As ever, we must lose shows to get all this wonderful new theatre coming in. I’m sure you’ll understand that The Grinning Man is the show I’m most upset to see depart this month, though having this short extension was a blessing as it meant I could sneak in another couple of visits (and I’ll be introducing a friend to it on its final day!); Nine Night finishes a short run at the Dorfman (National Theatre), Rasheeda Speaking leaves Trafalgar Studios 2, Moormaid finishes its run at the Arcola, and All or Nothing‘s stint at the Ambassadors comes to an earlier than advertised close. Away from London, The Proclaimers musical Sunshine on Leith leaves the West Yorkshire Playhouse to head out on tour, Present Laughter ends its run at the Chichester Festival Theatre, Lennon’s Banjo (featuring original Beatle Pete Best) closes at Liverpool’s Epstein Theatre, and The Play That Goes Wrong crashes out of Cardiff New Theatre.

If you have a spare few minutes, please have a read through the #SaveStageLighting campaign page on the ALD (Association of Lighting Designers) website, and then sign the petition. Theatre would become a far less dynamic place if we lost the incredible lighting we’re lucky enough to have now – don’t think you wouldn’t notice the change…

New releases: Arctic Monkeys – Tranquility Base Hotel + Casino (11th), Solo – A Star Wars Story soundtrack (25th); Save Me (7th), The Greatest Showman (14th)

Reviews

At one point this was looking like a much quieter month, but there were far too many intriguing invites that I absolutely couldn’t refuse…

  • DcCS8wkW4AQUmho
    Photo source: Tom Hartwell

    Grotty (The Bunker Theatre)

  • Worth A Flutter (Hope Theatre)
  • 143 (Theatre N16)
  • Nightfall (Bridge Theatre)
  • H.R.Haitch (Union Theatre)
  • Before 30 (Theatre N16)
  • A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Lazarus Theatre, Greenwich Theatre)
  • On The Night (Etcetera)
  • Adam & Eve (Hope Theatre)
  • Into The Woods (Cockpit Theatre)

Any Other Business

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Photo credit: Manuel Harlan

I just have the one BroadwayWorld UK review this month: A Trip Across the Universe at the Bob Hope Theatre in Eltham. If you’re not aware, there’s a film called Across the Universe that took a selection of Beatles songs to make an original story, though heavily inspired by the events (& the drugs) of the late 60s in America. Currently, Let It Be and Rain are about the only two ways of seeing The Beatles onstage, and they’re more gigs than actual theatre shows so it would be amazing if this concert version of Across the Universe could eventually become a full musical… It would likely require a massive budget, but I’m sure there would be people around who’d happily throw money at it!

This month is where I finish following The Flying Lovers of Vitebsk around! It’s come all too soon. I just have Cheltenham and Brighton left now, and they only have a festival in America to perform it after that… Theoretically it should be going to New York at some point, because of the Carol Tambor win in Edinburgh last year, but that might not be for some months yet.

I do have plenty of other things coming up though, including a return to Liverpool to see Othello, Much Ado About Nothing in Kingston, a final glimpse of The Grinning Man, the brilliant Joe Penhall’s Mood Music, Macbeth (& probably also Absolute Hell) at the National, possibly Strictly Ballroom, and my return to the Globe for Hamlet & As You Like It. I will also FINALLY be seeing Harry Potter and the Cursed Child (two parts in one day, of course!), and am heading to the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse for a talk entitled ‘Shakespeare and the Wandering Mind’…

Hot tips

Blog post: Love London Love Culture’s interview with Alfred Molina & Alfred Enoch
Book: Making The Monster: The Science Behind Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein (Kathryn Harkup)

“All that glisters is not gold—
Often have you heard that told.”
Morocco, The Merchant of Venice 2.7 (William Shakespeare)

Don’t miss!
My blog post about the #OperaUndressed experience at the Coliseum.

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