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WHAT’S HOT – 21st May 2012

Writers and directors will ultimately agree that at the heart of the human condition lies in our ability to hold relationships with each other (or not), whether that is a loving/romantic relationship, a paternal relationship, or our ability to destroy relationships. Our selection of productions this week all share that common theme. John Roberts guides you through the relationship minefields appearing in theatres this week.

In The Next Room or The Vibrator Play – Ustinov Studio, Bath

Sex and relationships are often touched upon in the theatre, the intimacy that the art form provides can catapult a powerful production to heady heights. Sarah Ruhl’s potent drama provides plenty to talk about. As the new electric light starts to gain momentum, one man’s journey to find a cure for female hysteria may bring strangers closer to him, but it begins to alienate those already close. Deftly directed by Laurence Boswell, In The Next Room or The Vibrator Play will stay in memory for some time.

Runs until 9th June

Tender Napalm – Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester

Supporting Wall’s hard-hitting and provocative production of Philip Ridley’s poetic and raw examination of what love is has unashamedly had the critics in awe as it tours around the country, many praising David Mercatali’s direction. This hilarious yet heartbreaking two-hander boldly pushes into raw territory so often dismissed in the theatre.

Runs 22nd – 26th May

Sleeping Beauty Insomnia (Play, Pie, Pint) – Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh

Two worlds collide in the latest instalment of the lunchtime drama series Play, Pie, Pint. During an Israeli bombing campaign in 2006, two men unexpectedly find themselves pushed together in a bombed-out theatre, their only companion a dead girl. Abdelrahim Alwaj’s new play forces us to recognise how our own prejudices affect our point of view and raises the question, can we really change? Co-produced by the National Theatre of Scotland and Glasgow’s Oran Mor, for £12 you really do get everything you want at lunchtime – excellent entertainment, food and a drink.

Runs 22nd – 26th May

Betrayal – Crucible Theatre, Sheffield

How can one moment change the present so destructively and brutally? The late Harold Pinter’s play provides plenty of provocation as a couple who have engaged in a seven-year affair begin to cross-examine the betrayal that they have brought upon those around them. Can they return to the security of the past that they both so long for? Or will their future ultimately be changed in ways that they never thought possible? Directed by Nick Bagnall, Betrayal stars John Simm, Colin Tierney and Ruth Gemmell.

Runs until 9th June

Educating Rita – Yvonne Arnaud, Guildford

Olivier Award-winning Matthew Kelly takes on the pivotal rôle of Frank, alongside Claire Sweeney, in the Menier Chocolate Factory’s production of Educating Rita. Willy Russell set upon writing the play after his own experiences at evening education classes. Charting the ongoing relationship between a feisty hairdresser and a disillusioned university lecturer, Russell’s touching comic drama is regarded as one of the best modern plays in British theatre and makes a welcome return to the stage on this UK tour.

Runs until 26th May

About The Reviews Hub

The Reviews Hub
The Reviews Hub was set up in 2007. We aim to review all professional types of theatre, whether that be Commercial, Repertory or Fringe as well as Comedy, Music, Gigs etc.