London theater is busier than ever with a major reopening of a West End playhouse jostling for attention with eagerly awaited revivals (from the likes of Shakespeare, Sean O’Casey, and Andrew Lloyd Webber, to name but a few). Also on tap: transfers of several acclaimed new plays and a musical drawn from the iconic songbook of Ray Davies and the Kinks. Read on to find out more.
Back to Before: The Apollo Theatre made headlines on December 19 when portions of its ceiling fell in during a performance of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time. Now, the Shaftesbury Avenue playhouse is reopening, its rooftop balcony level secured and sealed off, with the commercial transfer of Tony winner John Tiffany’s acclaimed production of the Jack Thorne play Let the Right One In, seen late last year at the Royal Court.
ALSO: The off-West End revival of Andrew Lloyd Webber and Ben Elton’s 2000 musical The Beautiful Game opens on April 8. Niamh Perry—an alum of Love Never Dies in London—stars. Who will emerge victorious at the Olivier Awards: Once or The Book of Mormon, Jude Law’s Henry V or Tom Hiddleston’s Coriolanus (or someone else)? Find out April 13 at a star-studded ceremony at the Royal Opera House, featuring a guest appearance from Broadway great Bernadette Peters.
Oh, Coward!: Fresh on the heels of the sellout revival of Noel Coward’s Blithe Spirit, starring Dame Angela Lansbury and Janie Dee, along comes the master’s lesser-known 1951 comedy, Relative Values, opening April 14 at the Harold Pinter Theatre and directed by Trevor Nunn. Patricia Hodge, Rory Bremner, and recent Olivier Award winner Leigh Zimmerman co-star.
ALSO: The West End transfer of David Lindsay-Abaire’s Good People, starring Imelda Staunton, opens on April 15.
Keeping Secrets: Playwright James Graham, who is part of the Broadway-aimed Finding Neverland, opens topical-sounding new play, Privacy, directed by Josie Rourke on April 22 at the Donmar. The piece stars Olivier winner Michelle Terry (Tribes) and Paul Chahidi, fondly remembered from his scene-stealing turn as Maria in the recent all-male Twelfth Night.
ALSO: Last chance to see Broadway’s brilliant original Frankie Valli, John Lloyd Young, heading the London company of Jersey Boys before he departs April 27 to promote the forthcoming Clint Eastwood film of the stage show, in which he stars. Veteran director Howard Davies opens a National Theatre revival of Sean O’Casey’s war-themed 1929 play
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Rock On: Expect the Hampstead Theatre to keep the beat, and then some, as the May 1 opening gets nearer for Sunny Afternoon, director Edward Hall’s new musical drawn from the back catalog of U.K. rock gods Ray Davies and the Kinks. Joe Penhall (Blue/Orange) has written the book based on an original story from Davies, and Dominic Tighe, Helen Hobson, and George Maguire head the cast.
ALSO: It’s the first full week of performances at Shakespeare’s Globe for director Lucy Bailey’s take on Titus Andronicus, one of the Bard’s bloodiest works. William Houston has the title role.