It’s that time of year again when people and companies start to get their heads together around the 1000’s of shows heading to many of the festivals up and down the country and theatres start to take a little break to get everything up and running ready for the post summer season to begin. But don’t let that put you off from seeing something – there is still plenty going on up and down the country this week.
The Everyman Theatre have teamed up with the always inventive Kneehigh to produce this clever and well pitched re-imagining of John Gay’s classic The Beggar’s Opera. Dead Dog in a Suitcase (and other love songs) is bursting with wit and imagination and filled with inventive song in this brilliant morality tale for our times.
Runs until 12th July
Fine Chisel bring their 2013 Fringe First winning production to Bury St Edmunds this week. Dumbstruck brings the buzz of a 1960s pirate radio ship vividly to life through their undeniably talented team of actor-musicians. Expect lively music, touching drama and a visual identity that makes Fine Chisel stand out from the crowd.
Monday 30th June &Tues 1st July
Krapp’s Last Tape is arguably one of Samuel Beckett’s most touching and fragile of his short one-act plays. Polly Findley directs fellow colleague and actor Richard Wilson in this one-man play about a man celebrating his 69th birthday alone listening to a tape recording he made of himself some 30 years earlier.
Runs until 19th July
Welsh poet Dylan Thomas’ most famous pieces of work is his masterpiece for “Welsh Voices” Under Milk Wood – A fascinating journey into the Welsh way of life and the roots of its melodic language. This critically acclaimed production from Clywd Theatr Cymru and starring Game of Thrones’ Owen Teale lands in Brighton for the next week.
Runs until 5th July
For the next two weeks at the Birmingham REP some of the best theatre companies from around Europe come together to celebrate the rich theatrical tapestry that weaves us all together. Artists include the Netherlands’ Dadara, the UK’s Jamie Wood and Spain’s David Espinosa serve up some delicious and decadent theatre. This is the forth year for the festival and looking at this year’s incredible line-up is set to be the biggest and best yet.
Runs from 2nd – 12th July
The National Theatre has been on fine form in recent years with some of their best shows finding life beyond the stages of the Lyttleton or Olivier stages – one such success story has been Richard Bean’s new adaptation of Goldoni’s The Servant of Two Masters. The currant cast stars Eastender’s alumni Emma Barton and Shaun Williamson and taking on the demanding rôle of the loveable chancer Francis Henshall is Gavin Spokes – take your tissues with you for this, not because it’s sad, but because your mascara will run from non stop laughing!
Runs until Sat 5th July
Last year Birdsong was seen by over 75,000 people and once again is on tour bringing this stage adaptation of Sebastian Faulks’ tale of love and romance among the gritty and dangerous backdrop of the First World War. Olivier Nominated actor and past Blue Peter presenter Peter Duncan shares the stage with Hollyoak’s Jonny Clarke in this moving and tragic tale.
Runs until 5th July
The Union Theatre continues its run of excellent musical revivals with the return of Stephen Sondheim’s Pacific Overtures. Based on the true story of a lowly Japanese fisherman who was sent to insist that the western warships which have arrived in Japan turn back. The events trigger one of the biggest social changes in history and through the use of Kabuki and Butoh – Sondheim’s rich musical score is given a much needed revival in the Union’s intimate studio setting.
Runs until 2nd August
The once influential O’Donnell’s have gathered to celebrate a wedding in their crumbling home, Ballybeg Hall. The father, Justice O’Donnell is on his death-bed. This upper class family has survived wars and famine but the old order is collapsing. Can they forge a new life for themselves? Brian Friel’s plays have become firm favourites for Dublin’s Abbey Theatre and since it’s original premiere at this very theatre in 1979 Aristocrats has gained plaudits from all around the world.
Runs until 2nd August
Photo: Steve Tanner of Dead Dog in a Suitcase (and other love songs)