Theatre is at its most powerful when it reflects our everyday lives. Love, affairs, death, class, education – all provide writers with plenty of material for powerful drama. Catherine Love looks at some productions across the country this week that hold a mirror to our lives.
Harold Pinter’s backwards tale of an affair between a woman and her husband’s best friend, one of his most revived plays, receives a new production at the Crucible Theatre, starring John Simm, Ruth Gemmell and Colin Tierney. This delicate exploration of love and deceit traces Jerry and Emma’s adulterous liaison back from its weary termination to its heady conception.
Runs 17 May – 9 June
Mostly known for being shockingly controversial back in the 1970s, when it was banned by the BBC, this is the first major London revival of Dennis Potter’s infamous play. When a charming stranger suddenly enters their lives it seems like a Godsend for a struggling couple trying to cope with the aftermath of a car accident that has debilitated their daughter, but there are sinister consequences to inviting this man into their home. This new production stars Rupert Friend as the enigmatic intruder.
Runs until 2 June
The National Theatre of Scotland are offering a second chance to see Abi Morgan’s searching play about faith, science and the assault of old age, which makes its return at the Citizens Theatre this week. When an ageing convent is given the opportunity to take part in a groundbreaking scientific study that could change the lives of its inhabitants, one nun is forced to try and reconcile her religious beliefs with the advances of science.
Runs 17 – 26 May
Fresh from HighTide, Ella Hickson’s latest play tackles the very real challenges faced by a generation who are graduating into a hostile world. As they approach the daunting prospect of the rest of their lives, four boys celebrate the end of their university degrees with one massive party. This touring production comes to the Nuffield Theatre courtesy of a co-production with Headlong and HighTide.
Runs 16 – 26 May
Finally, there is another chance to catch Laura Wade’s sharp dissection of class and privilege as it heads to the Duke of York’s Theatre. Welcome to the Riot Club, where the elite of Oxford University party hard and plan a revolution. The Royal Court’s hit production arrives on the West End for a summer season, followed by the transfer of April de Angelis’ Jumpy.
Runs until 4 August