With an extended weekend to enjoy at thebeginningof the week, why not take the opportunity to try something new in a theatre near you this week. There’s plenty on offer with venues across the country attempting to tempt audiences away from the pomp andpageantry. And just in case the normal British bank holiday weather prevails, John Roberts picks five shows to provide shelter from the rain.
What actually happens when you give complete creative control of programming your theatre to under 26s? The answer is a vibrant and rich collection of some of the world’s best theatre productions all under one roof. York Theatre Royal have become instigators in developing a rich dialogue between the young theatregoing community and its core programming and with shows like Tender Napalm, Great Expectations and As You Like It on the bill, you can be sure there really is something for everyone to may enjoy. Long may this type of initiative run.
Until 9th June
There is nothing like a challenge for a theatre company to truly show their artistic creativity, and putting on Alan Ayckbourn’s The Norman Conquests provides just that. Philip Wilson directs the three individual but interlocking plays set over one weekend at a country house. Family tensions and thwarted lust bubble over in the summer heat. Amid sparring spouses, boring board games and dismal dinners, we join Norman as he struggles manfully to bring peace, calm and happiness to those around him.
Until 23rd June
Sue Lefton directs the Mercury Theatre Company in Brian Friel’s Olivier and Tony award-winning play. Life is simple in rural Donegal; the Munday family live a simple existence until a wireless is brought into their lives and starts to challenge their views of the world outside, challenging them to dream of a happiness that they can only wish to follow. A strong revival from a strong regional theatre.
Until 16th June
Dominic Hill directs this double bill of short plays from arguably Ireland’s most influential playwright, Samuel Beckett. Gerard Murphy stars as the ageing and lonely Krapp, looking back on a life that has been ritualistically recorded on tape over the years. The themes of loneliness and isolation are continued in Footfalls which explores the relationship between a woman and her bed-bound invalid mother.
Until 9th June
It’s your final chance to see Zoe Lewis’s critically acclaimed comedy, starring Sadie Frost. Frost plays Lesley, a woman from Manchester who has dedicated her life to following her pop music heroine Madonna. Has Lesley left her own desires and dreams on the shelf for too long? Can she really regain her own life and not just live in her own ‘Material World’?