Top ten theatre shows opening in May 2017
May is a colossal month for theatre. The first week alone sees two of the biggest productions of the year, while elsewhere there is a double dose of Brecht, a Star Wars-starring revival at the Old Vic and a West End transfer for a certain set of loud young ladies.
Photo: Helen Maybanks
Angels in America at the National Theatre
Hamilton aside this is probably the single biggest production of the year. With National Theatre great Marianne Elliott at the helm, a cast including Andrew Garfield, Nathan Lane, Denise Gough and Russell Tovey, and a whopping eight-hour running time, Angels in America promises to be a near-spiritual experience.
Angels in America is at the National Theatre from 11th April until 19th August 2017, with a press day on 4th May, for further information or to book visit here.
Photo: Jack Sain
The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui at the Donmar Warehouse
Get ready for some speakeasy vibes at the Donmar, which is staging Bruce Norris’s new translation of Brecht’s Chicago-set Hitler satire, a play that has taken on a worrying relevance thanks to a certain election result. Lenny Henry stars as the titular Ui, with support including the Hamilton-bound Giles Terera and Tom Edden.
The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui is at the Donmar Warehouse from 21st April until 17th June 2017, with a press night on 2nd May, for further information or to book visit here.
The Ferryman at the Royal Court Theatre
Now this is exciting. After a few years dealing with 007, Jez Butterworth comes home to the Royal Court with his Bond buddy Sam Mendes in tow for an exploration of rural Ireland in the 1980s. Paddy Considine leads a sizable ensemble, with early word suggesting something truly special.
The Ferryman is at the Royal Court Theatre from 24th April until 20th May 2017, with a press night on 3rd May, for further information or to book visit here.
Photo: Manuel Harlan
Salome at the National Theatre
Playwright and director Yaël Farber turns her attention to one of the grislier Biblical stories this month, that of Salome. Farber herself has produced a reworked version of the story, one that appeared in New York a couple of years ago. The play is staged in the gigantic Olivier Theatre, a space the director amply filled with Les Blancs in 2016.
Salome is at the National Theatre from 2nd May until 15th July 2017, with a press night on 9th May, for further information or to book visit here.
Photo: Manuel Harlan
Our Ladies of Perpetual Succour at Duke of York’s Theatre
After winning the 2017 Olivier Award for Best New Comedy (and with all five girls, somewhat bizarrely, entered as a single nomination for Best Supporting Actress), Our Ladies of Perpetual Succour transfers to the Duke of York’s Theatre in the West End. It’s as raucous as it is heart-warming, with a cracking soundtrack largely made up of ELO songs.
Our Ladies of Perpetual Succour is at Duke of York’s Theatre from 9th May until 2nd September 2017, with a press night on 15th May. Book your tickets here.
Manwatching at the Royal Court Theatre
A hit at the 2015 Edinburgh Fringe, Manwatching is an intriguing prospect. A blazingly honest monologue, written by an anonymous woman, read “by an unprepared man”. Previous performers have included Nick Helm, James Acaster and Joe Lycett.
Manwatching is at the Royal Court Theatre from 10th until 20th May 2017, for further information or to book visit here.
Life of Galileo at the Young Vic
The second major Brecht revival of the month comes at the Young Vic, with Pride and Prejudice and Atonement director Joe Wright returning to the stage to tell the tale of Galileo Galilei. Brendan Cowell, who impressed alongside Billie Piper in Yerma last year, returns to the theatre in the lead role, while music is provided by The Chemical Brothers’ Tom Rowlands.
Life of Galileo is at the Young Vic from 6th May until 1st July 2017, with a press night on 16th May, for further information or to book visit here.
Photo: Manuel Harlan
Woyzeck at the Old Vic
There are two pretty big selling points for the Old Vic’s production of Woyzeck: 1) that it is in a new translation from the Olivier-winning, Cursed Child-writing Jack Thorne; and 2) that it stars John Boyega, in his first stage role since returning from a galaxy far, far away.
Woyzeck is at the Old Vic from 15th May until 24th June 2017, with a press night on 23rd May. Book your tickets here.
An Octoroon at the Orange Tree Theatre
Branden Jacobs-Jenkins OBIE award-winning An Octoroon arrives at the Orange Tree Theatre this month – the first of two major 2017 productions for the playwright, the other being a production of his Pulitzer Prize-nominated Gloria at the Hampstead Theatre later in the year.
An Octoroon is at the Orange Tree Theatre from 18th May until 24th June 2017, with a press night on 24th May, for further information or to book visit here.
Photo: Mark Douet
Killology at the Royal Court Theatre
A co-production between the Royal Court and the Sherman Theatre Cardiff, Killology arrives in London with fantastic reviews from its run in Wales. Not that anything less should be expected given that it comes from Gary Owen, the man behind the searing Iphigenia in Splott.
Killology is at the Royal Court Theatre from 25th May until 24th June 2017, with a press night on 30th May, for further information or to book visit here.