The London weather is warming up as the spring theater season continues its sizzling pace. If you’ve already seen Dames Helen Mirren and Judi Dench on the West End and are waiting for the Broadway transfer of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, fear not: There are plenty of other tasty theatrical enticements on offer during May. Take a look below.
A Night of Passion: We’re not referring to the Stephen Sondheim/James Lapine musical, but a revival of Peter Nichols’ scorching 1981 depiction of adultery and betrayal, served up by an ace cast headed by Tony winner Owen Teale (A Doll’s House) and Tony nominees Samantha Bond (Amy’s View) and Zoe Wanamaker (Electra, Awake and Sing), directed by David Leveaux. Opening night is May 7 at the Duke of York’s Theatre.
ALSO: Simon Russell Beale headlines a revival of Harold Pinter’s 1958 tragicomedy The Hothouse, opening May 9 at Trafalgar Studios; Public Enemy, David Harrower’s new version of Henrik Ibsen’s An Enemy of the People, takes the stage at the Young Vic May 4-June 8, directed by Tony nominee Richard Jones.
Hello Dahl-y: There’s never too much of a good thing when it comes to Roald Dahl, the subversive genius whose novels inspired the London and Broadway smash Matilda and who now spawns a second major musical, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, with previews beginning May 17 at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane. Tony winner Douglas Hodge leads a cast directed by Sam Mendes, with a score from the Hairspray team of Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman. Any guesses as to what rhymes with Oompa-Loompa?
ALSO: Amy Herzog’s Lincoln Center hit 4000 Miles gets a London premiere starring Sara Kestelman and Daniel Boyd, opening on May 15 at The Print Room;. last chance to see the provocative #aiww: The Arrest of Ai Weiwei, Howard Brenton’s take on the ordeal of the Chinese artist and activist, closing May 18 at the Hampstead Theatre.
Scout's Honor: Tony winner Robert Sean Leonard, who last appeared on the London stage in a 1991 revival of Our Town, returns as Atticus Finch in an al fresco production of To Kill a Mockingbird. Timothy Sheader, the man behind the Open Air Theatre and Central Park revivals of Into the Woods, directs Christopher Sergel’s adaptation of the beloved Harper Lee novel in Regent’s Park; opening night is May 22.
ALSO: Previews begin May 20 for Chimerica, Lucy Kirkwood’s new play set between 1989 Beijing and 2012 New York. The cast includes Claudie Blakley, Stephen Campbell Moore (The History Boys,), and Benedict Wong (direct from #aiww, above); see them at the Almeida Theatre.
Long Night’s Journey: Eugene O’Neill’s five-hour-long epic Strange Interlude begins previews on May 28 at the National Theatre’s Lyttelton stage, starring Anne-Marie Duff (Saint Joan) as Nina, a part previously played by Glenda Jackson and Geraldine Page. The supporting cast in this rarely revived drama, winner of the 1928 Pulitzer Prize for Drama, includes Charles Edwards (The 39 Steps).
ALSO: Clarke Peters (The Wire) returns to the London stage to star in David Mamet’s Race, opening on May 29 at the Hampstead, directed by Tony winner Terry Johnson (La Cage aux Folles); last chance to climb London Wall, the delightful reclamation of a rarely seen 1931 play from John Van Druten, whose I Am A Camera spawned the musical Cabaret; closing night is June 1 at the St. James Theatre.