Author: <span>TheatreWhippet</span>

Shrek

Shrek: The Musical

David Lindsay-Abaire | Leicester Haymarket Theatre | Directed by Sally Bruton

Leicester Amateur Operatic Society bring the fairytale kingdom of Duloc magically to life on the Haymarket Theatre stage in this slick, vibrant and upbeat production. This is family entertainment of the highest order from a community theatre company packed full of talented singers, dancers and actors.

Guys and Dolls

Guys and Dolls

Frank Loesser | Sutton Arts Theatre | Directed by Emily Armstrong and Dexter Whitehead

Taking on any classic musical which audiences already know well is risky. There’s a weight of expectation. There aren’t many shows more well-known than ‘Guys and Dolls’, much-loved and hailed by critics as a “perfect musical comedy” when it opened on Broadway back in 1950. Throw in the 1955 film starring Frank Sinatra, Marlon Brando and Jean Simmons, countless stage revivals and a host of familiar songs and there’s plenty of pressure for any company. It’s a gamble but thankfully, under the direction of Emily Armstrong and Dexter Whitehead, Sutton Arts’ roll of the dice pays off with a resounding win: this is a hugely impressive piece of amateur theatre.

Fiddler on the Roof

Fiddler on the Roof

Joseph Stein, Jerry Brock and Sheldon Harnick | Playhouse Theatre | Directed by Trevor Nunn

There’s nothing shaky about this Fiddler on the Roof: voices are incredible across the whole cast. A slick, sharp and spirited production of a much-loved musical.

Living Together

Living Together

Alan Ayckbourn | Quarndon Village Hall | Directed by Peter Konowalik

Sir Alan Ayckbourn celebrates both his 80th birthday and the 60th anniversary of his professional playwrighting debut this year. Incredibly, his 83rd full length play will premiere in Scarborough this summer. Perfect timing this week then, for Quarndon Amateur Dramatic Society (QUADS) to treat audiences to a farcical journey back to the mid-1970s in their staging of one of the much-loved Norman Conquest plays – Living Together.

"Movies will make you famous, television will make you rich, but theatre will make you good."

Terrence Mann
A Thousand Splendid Suns

A Thousand Splendid Suns

Khaled Hosseini | Birmingham Repertory Theatre | Directed by Roxana Silbert

Khalid Hosseini’s much-loved 2007 novel tells the deeply affecting story of an unlikely friendship between two Afghan women, both married to the same husband. The narrative spans several decades, starting in 1992 in an Afghanistan ravaged by civil war.

"Words are sacred. They deserve respect. If you get the right ones, in the right order, you can nudge the world a little."

Tom Stoppard
Hamilton

Hamilton

Lin-Manuel Miranda | Victoria Palace Theatre | Directed by Thomas Kail

Manuel Lin Miranda’s box office smash Hamilton, playing at the Victoria Palace in London, is a theatrical phenomenon. Musicals being ‘current’ and ‘relevant’ has become almost cliched but with a Trump administration in the White House full of anti-immigrant rhetoric, this show feels razor sharp and bang on the money.

The Price

The Price

Arthur Miller | Wyndham’s Theatre | Directed by Jonathan Church

The metaphorical price of the life decisions we all make is what this play really excavates and in this, Jonathan Church’s production successfully mines the depths of Miller’s writing.

Kunene and the King

Kunene and the King

John Kani | Swan Theatre | Directed by Janice Honeyman

South African actor, activist and playwright John Kani’s new two-hander weaves weighty and wide-ranging personal themes with a nation’s political history in this world premiere at the Swan Theatre, Stratford-upon Avon.