Author: <span>TheatreWhippet</span>

sleuth

Sleuth

Anthony Shaffer | Sutton Arts Theatre | Directed by Claire Armstrong-Mills

The setting for Sutton Arts Theatre’s latest winning play – a ‘cosy English country house’ – is far from the snugly warm and comfortable place such a description suggests. Expect twists and turns,mystery, comedy and tension in this clever detective yarn which leaves the audience guessing right up to the final curtain.

Shakers Re-Stirred

Shakers Re-Stirred

John Godber and Jane Thornton | Duchess Theatre | Directed by Neil Scott

You’d be forgiven for thinking that Derby Shakespeare Theatre Company’s latest production, currently playing at the Duchess Theatre in Long Eaton, is some sort of crazy reimagining of a great bard tragedy. Othello on a cruise ship, perhaps, or Macbeth on a beach. Hamlet in a local pub. An inner-city classroom King Lear. Romeo and Juliet on an all-inclusive package holiday in Benidorm.

Shakers Re-Stirred is, in fact, just about as far from Shakespeare as you could get. The play, written by John Godber and Jane Thornton and set in the 1980s, is an hilarious insight into both the working and private lives of four waitresses in a cocktail bar called, you guessed it, ‘Shakers’. In this hugely successful production, director Neil Scott breathes new life into the trendy drinking hole in which the action mainly takes place. It’s a roller-coaster ride of a play, full of the highs and lows which characterise all of our lives.

Absolute Hell

Absolute Hell

Rodney Ackland|Sutton Arts Theatre | Directed by Emily Armstrong

Sutton Arts Theatre bring the chaos and frenzied escapism of post-war Soho to life in a fine production of Rodney Ackland’s controversial play ‘Absolute Hell’, directed by Emily Armstrong. Set entirely in La Vie en Rose, a dimly lit private members drinking club, it is one of those plays in which nothing much seems to happen, but everything does. The large cast successfully create a rich tapestry of humanity in all its varied pain, glory and disorder. Spending time in the company of these lost souls offers an engaging and satisfying insight into some of the complex realities of London life in 1945. Blitz nostalgia it most certainly is not.

Fleabag

Fleabag

Phoebe Waller-Bridge|NTLive Broadcast from Wyndham’s Theatre | Directed by Vicky Jones

Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s one woman play, which inspired the hit BBC TV series, is a perfectly formed theatrical pearl.

Appropriate

Appropriate

Branden Jacobs-Jenkins| Donmar Warehouse, London | Directed by Ola Ince

The ghost of a dead father and the brutal history of slavery haunt the ramshackle former plantation house of a dysfunctional American family in the UK premiere of Branden Jacob-Jenkins’ Appropriate at the Donmar Warehouse, directed by Ola Ince. It’s part gothic story, part family drama and part history play.

Venice Preserved

Venice Preserved

Thomas Otway| Swan Theatre, Stratford-upon-Avon | Directed by Prasanna Puwanarajah

Thomas Otway’s 1682 play is one of the very few Restoration tragedies still staged. In Prasanna Puwanarajah’s production, currently running at the Swan Theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon, it receives a “noir twist”, presenting the audience with a ‘Blade Runner meets Mad Max’ cyberpunk vision of a corrupt Venice.

Cats

Cats

Music by Andrew Lloyd Webber, based on ‘Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats’ by T S Eliot | Kilworth House Theatre, Leicestershire | Directed by Nick Winston

Nick Winston’s new production of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s hit musical at Kilworth House Theatre delivers on every level: this is ‘Cats’ as you’ve never seen it before. Fresh, playful and impeccably performed. fffffEncore Performing Arts, directed by Adam Guest, rise to the considerable challenge of staging this dark and raunchy tale of women getting away with murder in a production bursting with sexiness and sass.

Chicago

Chicago

John Kander and Fred Ebb | Lakeside Arts Theatre, Nottingham | Directed by Adam Guest

Encore Performing Arts, directed by Adam Guest, rise to the considerable challenge of staging this dark and raunchy tale of women getting away with murder in a production bursting with sexiness and sass.

Deadtown

Deadtown

Ivan Arsenjev and Petr Forman | Birmingham Repertory Theatre | Directed by Petr Forman

This is a unique piece of hypnotic theatre which shifts from vaudevillian circus to something far more fantastic as we are invited to journey into the depths of the Wild West with a host of comedians, illusionists, gunfighters and beautiful ladies.

All My Sons

All My Sons

Arthur Miller | Highbury Theatre, Sutton Coldfield | Directed by Ian Appleby

In this latest Highbury Players production, director Ian Appleby has assembled an impressive cast, each effective in conveying how the ghostly presence of two absent characters exercises a profound influence over their lives. It’s a bold, powerful realisation of Miller’s intense family drama.