London is whistling “Yankee Doodle” this month: a Rodgers and Hammerstein classic resurfaces, several off-Broadway hits get a British airing and two Americans continue their stellar work across the pond, Oscar winner Kevin Spacey and Broadway favorite Seth Numrich. Read about all this and more in this decidedly American month for the stage in London and beyond
Legal Eagle: Kevin Spacey is entering his final phase as artistic director of the Old Vic Theatre, a post he will relinquish next year to Tony-winning director Matthew Warchus. In the meantime, the double Oscar-winner opens June 4 for a brief run (through June 15) as pioneering American lawyer Clarence Darrow in the David W. Rintels one-man play of the same name. Thea Sharrock directs.
ALSO: Theatre Royal Bath’s production of Intimate Apparel opens on June 4. Lynn Nottage’s lovely play about an African-American seamstress in 1905 New York stars Tanya Moodle. June 7 is the final performance of the Young Vic’s shattering production of Arthur Miller’s A View From the Bridge, featuring career-best work from Nicola Walker and Mark Strong and director Ivo van Hove.
JUNE 9-15 Family Plot: Broadway actor Seth Numrich must have had a good time in London last summer co-starring opposite Kim Cattrall in Sweet Bird of Youth, for which he won an Evening Standard Theatre Award; he’s back for a U.K. encore. This time, Numrich stars under the direction of Lyndsey Turner in the classic Russian play by Ivan Turgenev, here adapted by Brian Friel. Opening night is June 10 at the Donmar.
ALSO: Opening June 12 at the Almeida is Robert Icke’s production of the U.K. premiere of Anne Washburn’s Mr. Burns, starring Tony nominee Jenna Russell. Final performance June 14 at Southwark Playhouse of Bradley Rand Smith’s adaptation of the Dalton Trumbo novel Johnny Got His Gun, directed by David Mercatali and with Jack Holden in the fiercely anti-war solo play.
Hare Today: David Hare’s Skylight, one of the defining British plays of the 1990s, is back in a new West End revival at Wyndham’s Theatre. The drama opens June 18 under the direction of Stephen Daldry, who helmed Hare’s screenplays for The Hours and The Reader to great success. Carey Mulligan stars as the beleaguered schoolteacher, Kyra, with Bill Nighy as Tom, an older man she may have loved and lost.
ALSO: Opening performances from June 20 at the Young Vic of Kathryn Hunter and Marcello Magni in The Valley of Astonishment, co-directed by the legendary Peter Brook. Closing performance June 21 at the Hampstead Downstairs of Nicholas Wright’s biting A Human Being Died That Night, which mines issues of morality and retribution in contemporary South Africa: Noma Dumezweni and Matthew Marsh star.
A Real Nice Clambake: First full post-opening week for Tim Rogers and Gemma Sutton in what is being billed as a “bold new interpretation” of Carousel, this time from the wonderfully named Morphic Graffiti company and boasting new acoustic orchestrations; Luke Fredericks directs the staging at east London's funky Arcola Theatre.
ALSO: The Crazy Coqs cabaret near Piccadilly Circus this week hosts Kate Dimbleby returning with her popular show about American singer-songwriter Dory Previn (June 24-26), while Starlight Express alum Ray Shell performs his acclaimed piece Back 2 - Black II (June 27-28). The hot young dramatist Polly Stenham gives a talk June 25 at the National Theatre about her new play, Hotel.