See a Sherlock star treading the boards or a reinvention of North by Northwest, with our review of this summer’s theatre
From Hitchcock classics brought back to life, to a bracing new take on a Shakespeare favourite, here’s our pick of the best theatre productions coming this summer
Hamlet: Harold Pinter Theatre, London, 9 June – 2 September 2017
Sherlock star Andrew Scott headlines as Shakespeare’s Great Dane in this imaginative new modern-dress production from Olivier Award-winning director Robert Icke.
Having enjoyed a sold-out run at the Almeida Theatre, the production that Time Out described as “live wire, edge-of-the-seat stuff” and the Evening Standard called “rich and beautiful” transfers to the West End for a strictly limited season this summer.
The Ferryman: the Gielgud Theatre, London, 20 June – 7 October
It’s Northern Ireland in 1981 and Quinn Carney (played by Paddy Considine, making his stage debut) and his family are preparing for the year’s harvest. But the party atmosphere is shattered when Quinn receives shocking news about his long-lost brother…
When Jez Butterworth’s follow-up to his smash hit Jerusalem opened at the Royal Court Theatre in April, it won rave reviews, selling out its entire run before it even opened. Now, The Ferryman transfers to the Gielgud Theatre in London’s West End, keeping its original cast of Considine, Laura Donnelly, Genevieve O’Reilly and Bríd Brennan.
The play marks the second collaboration between director Sam Mendes and writer Jez Butterworth after their sterling work on the 2015 Bond movie, Spectre.
Cat on a Hot Tin Roof: The Young Vic, London, 13 July – 7 October 2017
One of US playwright Tennessee Williams’s signature plays (and indeed his own personal favourite), Cat on a Hot Tin Roof now reaches the London Young Vic with an all-star cast.
Set in the American Deep South in the 1950s, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof unfolds over the course of one balmy evening in the plantation home of a dysfunctional, wealthy family.
Though he doesn't know it, the family father, Big Daddy (Colm Meaney), is slowly dying of cancer. However, the other family members, including Brick (Jack O’Connell) and wife Maggie (Sienna Miller), are well aware of his imminent demise and have their eyes on his fortune.
A true masterpiece of American theatre, Williams’ play still sizzles after all this time.
I Loved Lucy: Arts Theatre, London, 19 July – 2 September
Lucille Ball was one of the first celebrities of the small screen. Not only was she the star of the groundbreaking sitcom I Love Lucy, she was the first woman ever to run a major television studio.
But who was the real Lucille Ball? And what happened to her towards the end of her life, with her most successful years behind her?
These are the questions at the heart of I Loved Lucy, an intimate and affectionate portrait of one of the first bona fide TV superstars. Penned by Ball’s confidante Lee Tannen, the play is a revealing look behind the public persona from one of the few people allowed into her private world.
Sandra Dickinson, described by WhatsOnStage as “feisty, warm, funny, and with a genuine twinkle in her eye”, headlines as Ball, alongside Matthew Scott, who played Adam Hochberg in the Broadway production of An American in Paris, who makes his London stage debut as Lee.
North by Northwest: Bath Theatre Royal, 21 July – 12 August 2017
Based on one of Alfred Hitchcock’s most cherished movies, this zippy stage adaptation of North by Northwest had its world premiere in Australia in 2015 and receives its UK premiere in Bath this July.
A classic case of mistaken identity, Roger Thornhill (played in the movie by the super-suave Cary Grant) is an ordinary advertising executive who finds himself caught up in a world of espionage when he’s abducted by a group who believe he’s a spy by the name of George Kaplan.
Director Simon Phillips’ inventive adaptation captures the thrills and glamour of Hitchcock’s 1959 original, and utilises complex film projections and modern blue-screen technology to create a truly immersive theatrical experience.
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