What's on Highlights > May
29 April 2016
Read on for inspiration for what’s on in May at a theatre near you. This is just a small selection of theatres and what's on - visit the venue's website for full listings or choose another theatre from over 240 theatres around the country. For a full list of venues click here.
Wayne McGregor’s ATOMOS
Atomising bodies, movement, film, sound and light into miniature shards of intense sensation, Atomos is a work by cutting-edge contemporary choreographer Wayne McGregor. McGregor is known for his unique, tenacious questioning across the interface of art and science and through the body and mind. Ten incredible dancers perform McGregor’s unique style – sculptural, rigorous, jarring and hauntingly beautiful. He is accompanied by a team of sensational artists including long time collaborators lighting designer Lucy Carter and filmmaker Ravi Deepres, along with costumes by the ground- breaking designers of wearable technologies, Studio XO. Neo-classical ambient composers A Winged Victory For The Sullen provide the soaring score.
English Touring Opera - Iphigénie en Tauride and Don Giovanni
13 May Iphigénie en Tauride | 14 May Don Giovanni
Iphigénie en Tauride by Gluck.
Vampire-like villains and human sacrifice form a bloodthirsty backdrop to what is one of the most refined and perfect of operas, based on a famous story from Greek myth. This account of the reunion of Iphigenia and her brother in the aftermath of the Trojan War is an eloquent, heart-wrenching masterpiece. Sung in French with English surtitles.
Don Giovanni by Mozart.
Is Don Giovanni a hero who defies all authority – or villain, a sinner, and a murderer? Whether you’re charmed or repelled by opera’s most charismatic antihero, you’ll have an adventure with Mozart’s most engrossing opera – from the magnificent score to its chilling supernatural conclusion. Sung in English.
Breakin' Convention 2016
Sadler’s Wells groundbreaking international festival of hip hop dance theatre and culture, Breakin’ Convention, returns to Blackpool’s Grand Theatre. Hosted and curated by Jonzi D, Breakin’ Convention brings a phenomenal night of dance performances from the very best international and UK poppers, lockers, house dancers, b-boys and b-girls. This year’s line-up includes world champion b-boy crew The Ruggeds (The Netherlands), experimental b-boys Iron Skulls (Spain), and leading streetdancer Antoinette Gomis (France), alongside a host of local acts. Spilling off the stage the entertainment continues with workshops, freestyle dance jams, have a go sessions and live graffiti guaranteeing there’s something for all the family.
Big Session 2016
29 May - 1 Apr
A Folk festival in the heart of the Peak District, where the cream of folk gather to welcome in May. Artists include Oysterband, June Tabor, Emily Protman Trio, Lucy Ward and Seth Lakeman. There will be a huge beer festival and a big session ceilidh.
Travels With My Aunt
2 – 4 May
Four actors will take on over 20 characters in this hilarious mad cap dash around the world with-Henry Pulling. He is a retired suburban bank manager with a penchant for dahlias. He meets his eccentric Aunt Augusta at what he supposes to be his mother's funeral. She persuades him to abandon his dahlias and travel with her to Brighton, Paris, Istanbul and across the world to Paraguay.
Eric Bibb & Band
Following the release of his latest album Lead Belly’s Gold, the US acoustic blues singer-songwriter returns to Buxton as part of a much anticipated UK tour. One of the leading bluesmen of his generation, Bibb's career has spanned five decades and he has released 36 albums. Bibb was born in New York City, the son of Leon Bibb, a senior figure on the New York folk scene in the 60s. His musical connections go further. His godfather is the actor, singer and activist Paul Robeson and his uncle was the composer and jazz pianist John Lewis, the founder of the Modern Jazz Quartet.
Critically acclaimed show Essence of Ireland takes on a new lease of theatrical life with this new and exciting musical adaptation of the show – direct from Ireland. Inspired by true events and spanning three decades, Ireland’s Call follows the extraordinary journey of the strong-headed Sean Dempsey, who at the end of WW2 leaves behind his childhood sweetheart Cora and his beloved homeland Ireland, in search of a better life in the Big Apple. Can their love survive the Atlantic Divide?
Graeme of Thrones
The hilarious parody direct from the west end
Graeme takes you on his own unique journey through the Seven Kingdoms. Unhappy with how his beloved books were realised for the TV series, he has taken it upon himself to show you how it should have been done. He doesn’t quite have the same budget, or as many cast members, or the performance skill required, but he’s sure George would approve – and that’s what matters.
Recommended age: 16 years +
The Ronnie Scott’s Story
Presented by The Ronnie Scott’s All Stars
Combining world class live jazz from The Ronnie Scott’s All Stars Quintet, narration and rare archive photos and video footage, The Ronnie Scott’s Story is a visual and musical celebration of the club. Charting the club’s rise from a basement bar through to the internationally acclaimed jazz venue it is today. Mixing classic music from jazz greats alongside tales of old Soho, miscreant musicians and police raids, this unique evening celebrates one of the world's most famous jazz venues, it's music, and history.
Let It Be
9 - 14 May
Let It Be has established itself as one of the West End’s most popular shows and continues to delight audiences worldwide. Let It Be showcases the music of the world’s most successful band in a spectacular concert charting the success of The Beatles from their humble beginnings in Liverpool’s Cavern Club, through the heights of Beatlemania, to their later studio masterpieces.
The Last Tango
16 - 21 May
Fresh from their sell-out hit shows Midnight Tango and Dance ‘Till Dawn, Strictly Come Dancing superstars Vincent Simone and Flavia Cacace have created their most moving production yet as they prepare to dance in their final ever theatre tour.
24 - 28 May
From the acclaimed producers of Horrible Histories comes the world premiere of this amazing story by David Walliams. It’s Friday night and Ben knows that means only one thing – staying with Granny! There will be cabbage soup, cabbage pie and cabbage cake and it’s going to be soooooo boring! Nut what Ben doesn’t know is that Cranny has a secret – and Friday nights are about to get more exciting than he could ever imagine, as he embarks on the adventure of a lifetime with his very own Gangsta Granny!
4 - 7 May
We all want to meet people from history. The trouble is everyone is dead! So it’s time to prepare yourselves for Horrible Histories live on stage. Using actors and 3D special effects, these two world premieres are guaranteed to thrill you and your children. Historical figures and events will come alive on stage and hover at your fingertips.
16 – 21 May
Annie, the world’s favourite family musical, starring acclaimed actress, comedienne and panto star; Elaine C Smith (Rab C Nesbitt, Burdz Eye View) as the tyrannical Miss Hannigan! Set in 1930s New York during The Great Depression, brave young Annie is forced to live a life of misery and torment at Miss Hannigan’s orphanage. Determined to find her real parents, her luck changes when she is chosen to spend Christmas at the residence of famous billionaire, Oliver Warbucks. Spiteful Miss Hannigan has other ideas and hatches a plan to spoil Annie’s search…
31 May – 4 Jun
From the producers of the sell-out smash hit Puttin' On The Ritz comes the dazzling song and dance extravaganza That's Entertainment. Celebrating the biggest hits of the 30’s 40’s and 50’s including music by Lerner and Loewe, Rodgers and Hammerstein, as well as Irving Berlin, Cole Porter there are also special tributes to the music of Frank Sinatra, Judy Garland and Glen Miller from films such as High Society, Singin' in the Rain, Some Like it Hot, South Pacific and many more. With glorious costumes, sumptuous music and an award-winning cast of singers and dancers, this is sure to be the feel good show of the summer.
27 April – 14 May
Tue - Sun eve | 7.30pm | Sat and Sun matinees | 3.00pm (Matinees from Saturday, 28 May 2016)
Failed architect Harrison has plans to make tonight the last night of his life. What he doesn't need is Katherine, a young student with cerebral palsy, breaking into his house in her wheelchair begging for his help. Written and co-performed by acclaimed playwright with a disability Athena Stevens, and directed by Alex Sims Schism is the world premiere of a stunning new play about two people finding each other, and what happens when their dream becomes unrealistic and out of date.
17 May – 11 June
Tue - Sun eve | 7.30pm | Sat and Sun matinees | 3.00pm (Matinees from Saturday, 28 May 2016)
The world premiere. Catherine was fifteen when she was found. She and her mother shared a secret world in an anonymous one-bedroom flat. No one is sure if she's ever left the room she was found in. She can't walk or speak. Sponsored by a fundraising drive led by a tabloid newspaper, her only relative has sought Catherine the best care that money can buy. She responds well to experimental treatment, but seems to be getting more violent, and remains stubbornly resistant to language. Or is she? Inspired by true events. Written by Eve Leigh, directed by Roy Alexander Weise.
A Subject Of Scandal And Concern
22, 23, 24, 29, 30 & 31 May | 5, 6 & 7 June
Sun and Mon eve | 7:30pm | Tue matinees | 2:00pm
London premiere and first theatrical staging of John Osborne’s play in over 40 years. Cheltenham, 1842. George Jacob Holyoake is a poor young teacher, making his way to visit a friend who has been imprisoned for publishing a journal criticising the establishment. When he makes a stop to address a lecture, his words and his overwhelming commitment to speaking the truth will change his life forever. Arrested and tried for blasphemy, Holyoake is faced with the choice of conforming or staying true to his beliefs in times of injustice and intolerance. Based on a true story. Directed by Jimmy Walters.
Dr Feel Good With Eddie And The Hotrods
Formed on Canvey Island in Essex in the early 1970s Dr. Feelgood remains one of the most popular and exciting live rhythm and blues acts in the world. Dr. Feelgood have enjoyed global success with a string of hit singles including Roxette and Back in the Night. The current line up continues to tour extensively throughout the World. Eddie and the Hotrods are legends of the pubrock scene producing the anthemic Do Anything You Wanna Do. A double bill of great rock music.
An Audience With Martin Kemp
From the incredible global success of Spandau Ballet to hitting the headlines on BBC1’s Eastenders – Martin has a truly amazing career. He has conquered personal challenges, had a best-selling book and won many new fans on Celebrity Big Brother and not forgetting his stunning performance in the International hit movie The Krays.
Now it’s your chance to get up close and personal as Martin talks about his life and being in the business – plus a Q&A.
Joseph And The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat
23 - 28 May
Retelling the Biblical story of Joseph (Joe McElderry), his eleven brothers and the coat of many colours, this magical musical is full of unforgettable songs including Those Canaan Days, Any Dream Will Do and Close Every Door To Me. Joe McElderry was just 18 when he won the sixth series of The X Factor in 2009 and immediately went straight to number on in the UK Singles Charts with his debut single The Climb. He has since gone on to have three top ten albums, as well as notching up two more reality TV show victories, winning ITV’s Pop Star to Opera Star and Channel 4’s The Jump.
11 - 14 May
Terry’s having a bad week. He’s lost his job, his girlfriend is off to university in London and he’s just killed his dealer’s cat. What happens when the world starts to fall away? What happens when our rocks start to fail us? What do we do when our stars don’t guide us where we thought they would? Then, it’s time to become rockstars.
Down And Out In Paris And London
Having survived Eton, young George Orwell disappears into the underworld of 1920s Paris in search for something to write about, while a modern-day journalist goes undercover on a London council estate at the turn of the millennium. Multi-award winning New Diorama and PIT transfer their brand new show back to London after its premiere at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2015.
3 – 14 May | 7.30pm | Sat Matinees 7 & 14 May | 2pm | Wed Matinee 11 May | 2pm
Winnie’s no ordinary nun. A swearing, smoking, Guinness fan, who loves a sing-song with Stephen. She lives life to the fullest. But she’s got a secret. Stephen’s lost his job – and lost his way. Finding solace in music, he knows he must start again…but how? Ballsy and outspoken, teenager Kayleigh is in charge of her life. No one tells her what to do. However, a mind-blowing discovery leads her to Winnie and Stephen and together they start a journey that will transform their lives forever.
19 – 20 MAY | 8pm
entoux is the most fearsome mountain encountered on the Tour de France.
It is also the story of Lance Armstrong and Marco Pantani, whose drug-fuelled race back in 2000 was the greatest the world of cycling had ever seen. Ventoux charts the parallel lives of these champions who overcame great adversity in tandem, and the mountain that cast them in opposing directions.
Join 2Magpies as they restage the race using breathtaking video accompaniment and a pair of road bikes, asking the question – how far will we go to succeed?
26 – 28 May | 7.30pm
Britain’s hottest young acrobats Barely Methodical Troupe blasted onto the UK circus scene in 2014 with their debut show Bromance, winning awards and selling out shows nationally and internationally.
Combining exceptional acrobatic skills with contemporary dance, parkour, boying and tricking, BMT explore ideas with wit and humour. Falling and catching, trust and balance, tumbling and flying are the stock and trade of the circus performer and BMT use this physicality as ways of exploring the human condition
NT Live: A View From The Bridge
Following its smash-hit original broadcast, the Young Vic’s ‘magnetic, electrifying, astonishingly bold’ production of A View from the Bridge returns to cinemas due to audience demand.
This stunning production of Miller’s tragic masterpiece won a trio of 2014 Olivier Awards including Best Revival, Best Actor for Mark Strong (The Imitation Game; Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy) and Best Director for Ivo van Hove.
After 50 years of The Who, Sensation hits the road to celebrate the music of this timeless British band with a unique concert.
Book your tickets now for an amazing musical journey … from My Generation to Who are You via Tommy & Quadrophenia and all with maximum rhythm and blues. From the same team who brought you the 5 star production of Tommy at The Greenwich Theatre the show features musicians and singers from many West End and touring productions and promises a night of non stop hits from one of the most influential bands of all time.
Don't Panic – Dad's Army Tribute Dinner Show
18 May & 19 May
Captain Mainwaring, Sergeant Wilson, Corporal Jones and Pike are joined by other surprise characters we all know. Can they save the Nation and what will your part be?
Our Tribute Actors will delight you as the memories come flooding back. All served up with a three course meal! A new show to coincide with the film due out later this year, it is bound to be very popular.
Swan Lake is one of the best known love stories and most popular ballets in the world and we are delighted that the wonderful Vienna Festival Ballet is returning to Blackburn with this production.
It's the ballet that captures like no other the full range of human emotions - from hope to despair, from terror to tenderness, from melancholy to ecstasy. With lavish costumes, stunning scenery, international stars and the glorious music from Tchaikovsky, it really is a night not to be missed.
How To Be Happy with The Speakmans
Everyone Deserves To Be Happy….
Join the worlds’ leading, inspiring, life change therapists, Nik and Eva Speakman, as they share their techniques to allow you to make positive changes in your life. For the first time in a live theatre environment, The Speakmans will simply explain the causes of negative thinking, internal conflicts and address a series of life’s challenges live on stage. Topics covered will range from how to overcome anxiety, phobias, confidence and generally being happy. The Speakmans want to revolutionise the way you think and show you how to change your life for the better.
Sarah Millican - Outsider
21 & 22 May
In the past when you put Sarah Millican outside, she asked things like: ‘Why? Where is the taxi? Do I need a cardie?’ and said things like: ‘There’ll be wasps. I’ve nothing to sit on. Is that poo? Can we go home?’ But things have changed. Now she has outside slippers. She can tell a chaffinch from a tit (hey). But she still can’t tell if it’s an owl or her husband’s asthma. Sarah Millican is venturing outside. Bring a cardie.
Graeme of Thrones
Direct from sold out shows in London's West End, Graeme takes you on his own unique journey through the Seven Kingdoms. Unhappy with how his beloved books were realised for the TV series, he has taken it upon himself to show you how it should have been done. He doesn't quite have the same budget, or as many cast members, or the performance skill required, but he's sure George would approve - and that's what matters. Featuring a family tree wider than The Wall and more subplots than anyone can follow, it's a rollercoaster ride of beheadings, incest and war.
End of the Rainbow
16 – 18 May
Starring Lisa Maxwell as Judy Garland.
It's 1968 and Judy Garland, a once-glittering star, is in London to make her explosive comeback. But off stage, holed up in her hotel room, Judy is battling with her young new fiancé, her devoted accompanist, and her destructive addictions. Will she be able to conquer her demons and reclaim her crown as one of history's great musical icons? Featuring Garland's most memorable songs The Man That Got Away, Come Rain Or Come Shine, The Trolley Song and of course Somewhere Over The Rainbow, End of the Rainbow is a fiercely funny and emotionally charged musical play filled with Garland's legendary tenacity, razor-sharp wit and once-in-a-generation voice.
BalletBoyz - Life
BalletBoyz are back with a brand new show for 2016 co-produced by Sadler's Wells in association with Artsdepot.
Featuring two new commissions by Pontus Lidberg and Javier de Frutos the evening takes an elegant, powerful and sometimes provocative look at life and death presented in BalletBoyz's inimitable style. Performed by its all-male company of ten amazing dancers - the show will also feature an original score written for an ensemble of nine musicians. Come and discover why BalletBoyz have created generations of dance fans through their inventive, fresh and memorable shows.
An Audience with Martin Kemp
From the incredible global success of SPANDAU BALLET to hitting the headlines on BBC1's EASTENDERS - Martin has a truly amazing career. He has conquered personal challenges, had a best-selling book and won many new fans on CELEBRITY BIG BROTHER and not forgetting his stunning performance in the International hit movie THE KRAYS. Now it's your chance to get up close and personal as Martin talks about his life and being in the business - all of it is TRUE and with your chance to put your questions forward to Martin - LIVE!
How The Koala Learned to Hug
Koalas are the cuddliest critters but just how did the koala learn to hug?
Based on the best selling book by Steven Lee this charming family musical has been written especially for children aged three and above to enjoy with their grown ups. As an extra treat, author Steven will be available to sign copies of How The Koala Learnt To Hug and Other Australian Fairytales which will be on sale at a specially reduced rate after the show.
Barb Jungr – Hard Rain the songs of Bob Dylan and Leonard Cohen
The UK’s finest interpreter of song, Barb Jungr returns to the songs of Bob Dylan and Leonard Cohen with the release of Hard Rain. Often referred to as “the politicised chansonnier” and cited as one of the world’s best performers of Dylan’s material, Barb turns to six of his most politically hard hitting songs along with five of Leonard Cohen’s most impassioned songs of conscience.
Peppa Pig’s Surprise
11 – 12 May
Surprise! Peppa Pig, George and their friends are coming to Mansfi eld in a brand new live stage show, Peppa Pig’s Surprise. It’s a lovely day and Peppa is playing outside with her friends. Mummy Pig and Daddy Pig have got a surprise for her and George – they can’t guess what it is, can you?
Enjoy fun, loads of songs and of course, surprises in this charming, colourful new show. Peppa Pig’s Surprise promises to be the perfect theatre show for all pre-schoolers!
Back to Bacharach
This show celebrates the timeless hits written by Burt Bacharach and is performed by three West End singers, accompanied by a live ten-piece band. Together, they recreate all the songs including: Anyone who had a Heart, Always Something There To Remind Me, Close to You, I Say a Little Prayer for You, Magic Moments, Raindrops Keep Falling on my Head, Anyone who had a Heart and Always Something there to Remind Me. Songs everyone will remember and fall in love with again.
A donation of £1.00 per ticket sold will be made to Breast Cancer Now.
Grumpy Old Women – Fifty Shades of Beige
Perrier Award-winning comedian, writer and original star of Grumpy Old Women Jenny Eclair will be joined by fellow recruits Susie Blake (Mrs Brown’s Boys, Coronation Street) and actress and singer Kate Robbins (Where the Heart Is, Casualty). This jam-packed show includes learning the art of Grumpy Grooming, the joy of large pants, a free nagging master class (how to get your own way without him even noticing), beards for women, complimentary Anger Management workshop, middle-aged drinking: the rules, how to customise an unwanted pole dancing kit and a mercifully brief Zumba demonstration. All this and more!
20 May – 4 Jun
Glamorous divorcees Amanda and Elyot haven’t seen each other in years. So when they find themselves honeymooning with their new spouses in adjacent suites at the same French hotel at the same time, they can’t believe it. Mortifying at first, it isn’t long before the chance encounter reignites an old spark and the couple impulsively elope. But only a few days into their reunion, Elyot and Amanda again find themselves trapped in a repeating cycle of love and hate as their private passions and jealousies consume them.
Little Howard’s Big Show for Kids
A unique interactive animated family/kid’s comedy show from the award winning creator of CBBC’s Little Howard’s Big Question. This year the Big Show is back with some even more mind-blowing bits of interactive animation that make Little Howard even more real than ever.
Love, Bombs and Apples
13 – 14 May
Love, Bombs and Apples is a comic and poignant one-man play from award winning playwright Hassan Addulrazzak – a tale of four men, each from different parts of the globe, all experiencing a moment of revelation. A Palestinian actor learns there is more to English girls than pure sex appeal. A Pakistani-born terror suspect figures out what is wrong with his first novel. A British youth suspects all is not what it seems with his object of desire. A New Yorker asks his girlfriend for a sexual favour at the worst possible time.
11 - 28 May
A Northern Stage, Nottingham Playhouse and Nuffield, Southampton co-production.
Riotous, raucous, hilarious, tears-rolling down-the-face, can’t-breathe-it’s-so-funny, ridiculous, perfectly glorious comedy bliss. Join us for Michael Frayn’s legendary multi-award-winning comedy Noises Off and take a trip behind the scenes as everything that could possibly go wrong…does. As a touring troupe desperately try to hold their shambolic production of Nothing On together and with under 24 hours to go until curtain-up, it’s downhill all the way through their dress rehearsal as backstage antics, forgotten lines, backstage romances, hilarious malfunctions and a tin of sardines threaten to result in a disastrous first performance.
Pim and Theo
12 - 14 May
Presented by New International Encounter (NIE) in association with Odherred Teater, Stiftelsen NIE and Korjammo Culture Factory.
Two men were shot in cold blood on the streets of Holland. Victims of extremism, Theo Van Gogh and Pim Fortuyn weren't afraid to make their opposing political views known. Incorporating sound and film design as well as live performance, four European theatre companies join together to make Pim & Theo – an immersive theatre show about culture and identity, life and rules and the limits of tolerance in our society.
Get Yourself Together
24 - 25 May
One Christmas, Josh was diagnosed with depression and then hit by a car. The following year he was on Job Seekers whilst attempting to balance his sanity and gift buying. This is a show about being ill and being fit for work. This is a show about the DWP and being from Bolton. This is a show that explores the thin line between mental health as a clinical and a political issue. Part stand up, part spoken word and part teenager in his room pretending he’s in a punk band.
The 39 Steps
3 – 7 May
Follow the incredible adventures of our handsome hero Richard Hannay, complete with stiff-upper-lip, British gung-ho and pencil moustache as he encounters dastardly murders, double-crossing secret agents, and, of course, devastatingly beautiful women. This wonderfully inventive and gripping comedy thriller features four fearless actors, playing 139 roles in 100 minutes of fast-paced fun and thrilling action. Alfred Hitchcock’s classic spy thriller, The 39 Steps, brilliantly and hilariously recreated for the stage as the smash hit Olivier Award-winning comedy, now on tour after 9 years in London’s West End.
10 – 14 May
English Touring Theatre and York Theatre Royal bring their elegant, evocative and vivid adaptation of the much loved Brideshead Revisited by Evelyn Waugh to Nuffield. It’s 1943 and, finding himself in familiar territory within the English countryside, Charles Ryder confronts memories of his first youthful encounter with Brideshead Manor and with its assortment of eccentric inhabitants. This world premiere, by the acclaimed playwright Bryony Lavery, is a sparkling reimagining of this classic novel. The past and present blur as Charles recalls those heady days at Brideshead and Lord and Lady Marchmain, along with their offspring Julia, Cordelia and Sebastian, begin to re-emerge…
8 May | 8pm
Keith Barry has established himself as Ireland’s biggest touring entertainment star with a series of sell-out shows & smash-hit record breaking theatre runs. Now a household name as part of ITV’s brand-new Saturday night entertainment format You’re Back in the Room he now brings his show Brain Hacker on a UK tour. Brain Hacker promises to be a show that you won’t forget in a hurry. Using a combination of mind control, deception, mentalism and hypnotism Keith hacks the brains of his audience to unlock a safe, move inanimate objects, enter into the world of the paranormal.
7 May | 7:30pm
After his successful UK Tour - Life Through Dance, Pasha Kovalev, the winner of " Strictly Come Dancing" 2014, welcomes you to his new and exciting dance spectacular - "It's all about you".
On his Fifth UK tour you can expect another evening of your favourite music, spectacular dancing, energy, lights and sparkling Costumes , filled with positive emotions and great entertainment for the entire family. Enjoy the show and get ready to Dance.
20 & 21 May | 8pm
The gap between how we imagine our lives to be and how they really are is the subject of Bill’s new show Limboland. With his trademark intelligence and sharp wit, he tells tales of finding himself in this halfway place. From his countless global travels, he recounts the hilarious saga of a disastrous family trip to Norway to see the Northern Lights. He rails against a world that doesn’t match up to our expectations and contemplates the true nature of happiness. And no Bill Bailey show would be complete without music, so we have Bill’s version of the protest song, a heart-rending country and western ballad played on a Bible, and a fabulously downbeat version of Happy Birthday.
The Rocky Horror Show
2 – 7 May
The world's favourite rock 'n' roll musical is back by popular demand to thrill you once again with its frothy fun and naughty moments! Following over 40 years of worldwide productions, Richard O'Brien's Rocky Horror Show is a non-stop party! Starring Diana Vickers as Janet, Ben Freeman as Brad, Paul Cattermole as Eddie / Dr Scott and Kristian Lavercombe is back as Riff Raff.
9 – 14 May
An ageing tyrant’s whimsical decision to divide his kingdom tears his family apart, sparks catastrophic civil war and destroys all that he has. Driven from his home, King Lear endures madness and great suffering as he battles a great storm. Yet with madness he finds reason, after betrayal he discovers loyalty, and through his suffering a better world emerges. Two-time Olivier Award nominee Michael Pennington leads a cast of fourteen distinguished actors in Max Webster’s epic new interpretation of Shakespeare’s greatest tragedy. The production marks the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death and is part of an extensive national tour.
17 – 21 May
A Story of Tom Jones. The Musical
Step back in time to the dance halls, working men’s clubs and recording studios of the ‘60s where the legend of Tom Jones was born: a Valleys boy with a heart-stopping voice who dreamed of making the big time, no matter what it took. This inspirational story of self-belief and determination is performed live on stage by a phenomenal cast of actors and musicians, celebrating an ordinary man with an extraordinary talent who became a superstar on a world stage.
20 April - 14 May
Homer's Iliad, the greatest and most influential epic poem ever written, tells of the tragic and bloody climax to the ten-year siege of Troy; the darkest episode in the Trojan War.
This great tale of gods and heroes, love, jealousy and revenge is brought to visceral life in a brand new adaptation by award winning Scottish Playwright Chris Hannan (Crime and Punishment, Elizabeth Gordon Quinn, Shining Souls). Supported by Claire & Mark Urquhart. Additional support from Geraldine Kirkpatrick Charitable Trust
Thon Man Molière
20 May - 11 June
Welcome to Paris at the time of Louis XIV. Come backstage and meet the King’s theatre company - a troupe of, grande dames, old hams, ingénue’s and of course, their leading man. Right at the centre, author of their dramas and cause of all their troubles – Thon man Molière. Writer of the acclaimed Perfect Days and Mary Queen of Scots got her Head Chopped Off, as well as celebrated Scots versions of Medea, Oedipus, Antigone and Molière's great trio of masterpieces; poet and playwright Liz Lochhead returns to The Lyceum with a brand new original play. It tells the story of her hero, the great comedian Molière; his scandalous marriage, his scurrilous plays and the irresistible creation of his infamous and celebrated satire Tartuffe. Commission supported by Dr David McNeil Summers Charitable Trust
The Toxic Avenger
Book by Joe DiPietro
Music by David Bryan
22 April – 21 May
The European premiere of this monster of a rock ‘n’ roll musical comedy from the Tony Award-winning creative team behind Memphis, Joe DiPietro and David Bryan, and based on the 1984 cult classic film from Troma Entertainment comes to The Large for a five-week run. The citizens of Tromaville are crying out for a hero – enter Melvin Ferd the Third, an aspiring earth scientist determined to clean up the toxic waste problem. But when a corrupt Mayor and her government goons try to stop this heroic feat, Melvin is tossed into a vat of toxic waste and transformed into The Toxic Avenger, New Jersey’s first superhero!
By Rose Lewenstein
14 April – 7 May
“You’re not even a fully formed person yet. Your face is still changing and your bones are still growing but already there’s a detailed map of your personality out there and companies you’ve never heard of are getting rich off it.” Welcome to Octopus Inc., the internet giant that allows users to exchange personal data for currency. But not everyone is prepared to sacrifice their privacy for an easier life. A teenager subverts the system in an attempt to save her mother. A visionary tech exec takes shortcuts to get ahead, and a cybercriminal chooses between two kinds of freedom. Darknet navigates through the world of data transparency and the uncharted deep web, uncovering the things we choose to share online and the places in which we can hide.`
Last of the Boys
By Steven Dietz
11 May – 4 June
It’s the final summer of the twentieth century: The Rolling Stones are on tour and, somewhere in the Great Central Valley of California, Ben’s trailer is the last one standing. Ben and Jeeter fought together in Vietnam. For thirty years they have been united by a war that divided the world. Just as their reunion is getting underway, they are interrupted by Jeeter’s new girlfriend and her mother in hot pursuit. As the night deepens, their shared past is thrown into focus, bringing its ghosts vividly to life. A fierce, funny, haunting play about a friendship forged by war and tested by time. The European premiere from award-winning playwright Steven Dietz, recently placed eighth on the list of the Top Ten Most Produced Playwrights in America, equal to Edward Albee and Tennessee Williams.
Wed 11 – Sat 14 May
Starring Frank Vickery as Tonto Evans, ex-miner, country and western fanatic, given to dressing up as a Native American, feathered headdress and all, has come into money. He dreams of visiting the Wild West and eating beans by the campfire, but Mair, his long suffering wife of thirty years has other ideas. They wrangle non-stop, while their son and his dozy wife prepare for a trip to Disneyland with their share of the windfall. But all their plans are put on hold by a murder inquiry conducted by the other son – where will it all end?
18 – 21 May
Written and directed by Ian Ogilvy. Starring Swansea favourite David Callister.
Brian Flowers and his wife Susan arrive at their house swapping summer vacation in Spain, only to discover they've unknowingly traded houses with a British gangster. The mess gets bigger and the clean-up gets sillier as ex-girlfriends, twin brothers and dead bodies all start piling up in this hilarious farce.
Menopause the Musical
Tues 24 May
Starring Linda Nolan (The Nolans), Cheryl Fergison (Heather in EastEnders) and Rebecca Wheatley (Casualty), this hysterical show is packed full of one-liners and parody songs about hot flushes and memory loss An all-singing, all-dancing comedy set in a department store where four women with seemingly nothing in common meet by chance and make fun of their woeful lives experiencing ‘The Change’. They share their problems with forgetfulness, mood swings, wrinkles, night sweats and chocolate binges.
South African Gospel Choir
Sat 14 May
The South African Cultural Talent Choir (SATC) has some of the UK’s most talented and professional South African artists. Their aim is to promote and showcase South African heritage and Culture. This wonderfully talented group of singers have toured and performed all over the UK and abroad singing songs in different African languages. Their repertoire encompasses traditional, popular and sometimes even classical pieces; being a spiritual people some songs explore their faith. They perform a cappella or with instruments; interspersed with energetic Zulu dance that always tells a story and brings much excitement to their performances. You will love these majestic voices!
Theatre Re present - Blind Man’s Song
Wed 18 May
Ahead of an international tour and following sell-out runs at the 2015 London International Mime Festival, Latitude and the Edinburgh Fringe, critically acclaimed Theatre Re (The Gambler, The Little Soldiers) presents a wordless tale about the power of imagination blending physical theatre, mime, illusions and a live musical score. "Superb… like a Beckett play designed by Magritte." (Stage) While a blind man walks around his room with unsteady steps a story of love, hope, courage and unquenchable vision unfolds. Established in 2009, Theatre Re is a London-based international ensemble creating vibrant and emotional work on the edge of mime and theatre.
Tue 31 May – Sat 4 June
The Mousetrap is famous around the world for being the longest running show of any kind in the history of British theatre – with over 25,000 performances it’s a play to be proud of. Enjoy this once in a life-time opportunity to see this masterpiece here at The Courtyard. The scene is set when a group of people gathered in a country house cut off by the snow discover, to their horror, that there is a murderer in their midst. Who can it be? One by one the suspicious characters reveal their sordid pasts until at the last, nerve-shredding moment the identity and the motive are finally revealed.
The Best Thing
3 May | Suitable for ages 12+
A swinging sixties story of unconditional love from the UK’s leading full mask theatre company. It’s 1966. The record player’s on, her hair’s bobbed and eye-lashes curled: for seventeen-year-old Susan, life is an adventure waiting to begin. But what happens next turns everything upside down, and its repercussions will last for decades to come. Step into the wordless world of Vamos Theatre for this bitter-sweet story of mistaken morals and broken hearts, 45s and beehives, where sexual revolution proves a hard and rocky path to tread.
After a decade on tour, Mercury has firmly established itself as one of the world’s most authentic tributes to the legend that is Freddie Mercury and Queen. With the extraordinary vocal range of Joseph Lee Jackson as Freddie Mercury and the intricate guitar work of Glenn Scrimshaw as Brian May, backed by superbly crafted harmonies and a driving rhythm section, this 10th anniversary concert will include Queen’s most popular hits as well as some additional tracks from the band’s vast back catalogue.
The ever-popular Vienna Festival Ballet are performing the classic love story Swan Lake. Lavish costumes, stunning scenery, international stars, and the glorious music from Tchaikovsky make this an evening not to be missed. Perhaps the world’s most popular ballet, Swan Lake captures like no other the full range of human emotions - from hope to despair, from terror to tenderness, from melancholy to ecstasy.
2 - 7 May
English Touring Theatre and York Theatre Royal present this elegant and evocative new adaptation of Evelyn Waugh’s epic masterpiece by Bryony Lavery. Damian Cruden directs
9 – 14 May
Theatre Royal Bath Productions in association with the Menier Chocolate Factory presents this comedy by Florian Zeller, the writer of the smash hit West End play The Father.
Alexander Hanson, Tanya Franks, Frances O’Connor and Robert Portal star in this smart comedy which has been a huge hit all over Europe.
After Miss Julie
24 – 28 May
Theatre Royal Bath Productions presents Patrick Marber’s scintillating erotic thriller inspired by Strindberg’s masterpiece and starring Helen George. Anthony Banks directs.
The Night Heron - By Jez Butterworth
10 – 14 | Theatro Technis, Camden
A mysterious comedy set in the remote, marshy world of the Cambridgeshire fens. When two downtrodden former gardeners take on a new lodger they soon get more than they bargained for.
The Tower Theatre in partnership with the RSC:
A Midsummer’s Night Dream By William Shakespeare
17 – 21 May | Barbican Theatre
This year, the RSC and amateur companies around the UK take you on a very special Midsummer adventure with a unique production of A Midsummer Night's Dream. The nation's favourite Shakespeare play is performed as never before; magically intertwining professional and amateur actors, deep in an enchanted wood on Midsummer's night. A Midsummer Night's Dream: A Play for the Nation is part of the RSC's plans to mark the 400th anniversary of the death of Shakespeare.
Romeo and Juliet By William Shakespeare
24 – 28 May | Theatro Technis, Camden
Shakespeare's timeless tragedy of innocent young lovers doomed by their parents' ancient quarrel resonates across the centuries with the beauty of its poetry, the power of its storytelling and the urgency of its plea for reconciliation.
To book using your Theatre Tokens please call: 0131 228 1404
Gods Are Fallen And All Safety Gone
4 – 6 May
An investigation into what happens when we discover that our parents are flawed human beings, and that at some point, sooner than we think, they are suddenly going to disappear from our lives. Intimate and funny, this play presents a lifetime of conversations, condensed into one hour. Every night two guests from the local community, a mother and a daughter, join the cast on stage for a one-off performance.
Donald Robertson is Not a Comedian
12 – 14 May
What would you do if everyone in the world hated you? Would you run? Would you fight? Or would you try to make them laugh?
Donald Robertson has got no mates and he isn't funny. But with guidance from his new mentor, Gary, he hopes that this is all about to change. Writer /performer Gary McNair’s acclaimed monologue weaves a classic coming-of-age story with a pinpoint deconstruction of the darker side of stand-up comedy.
THE INVISIBLE HAND
12 May – 2 July
American Banker Nick Bright knows that his freedom comes at a price. Confined to a cell within the depths of rural Pakistan, every second counts. Who will decide his fate? His captors, or the whims of the market? Pulitzer Prize–winner Ayad Akhtar’s intense political thriller lays bare the raw, unfettered power of global finance in this fast-moving, contemporary play directed by the Tricycle’s Artistic Director Indhu Rubasingham (A Wolf In Snakeskin Shoes, Multitudes, Handbagged, Paper Dolls, Red Velvet).
MARK THOMAS: TRESPASS
25 April – 7 May
Mark Thomas is back with his unique blend of theatre, stand up and activism thrown in with a dash of journalism and a dollop of mayhem. If the ramblers of the 1930’s were here now, what would they do to open up the cities? How do we turn the skyscrapers and corporate squares into our playgrounds? Mark sets out to try and carve a small space in the urban world where mischief and random chance can lurk. No one knows where this show is going to end up.
3 – 4 May
AN ENGLISHMAN, IRISHMAN AND SCOTSMAN GOT TRAPPED IN A JOKE...
'HOW D0 WE GET OUT?' SAID THE ENGLISHMAN
'JUST STOP TELLING IT' SAID THE IRISHMAN
'BUT WE'RE TOO FAR IN!' SAID THE SCOTSMAN
ALL THREE CHECKED THEIR PHONES FOR RECEPTION.
The Joke is a new play from comedy award winner Will Adamsdale - and company - exploring jokes and why we tell them, countries and why we need (and despair of) them, and life and why we bother. And tic tacs. Directing support from Joe Hill-Gibbins. Produced by Fuel. Commissioned by Unity Theatre. Funded by Arts Council England.
Jonny & The Baptists: The End is Nigh
Last year, Jonny accidentally told his four-year-old niece climate change would end the world. To stop her crying, he and Paddy promised to fix it. They really tried very hard... A new show about family, friendship and environmental disaster from the five-time award-nominated musical comedy stars of Radio 4’s The Now Show, following their acclaimed national tours with Stop UKIP and Rock The Vote.
20 – 28 May
Physical Fest have another packed year of incredible artists, from the local to the international, with an even bigger performance programme at Unity Theatre. With an emphasis on comedy, the festival opens with the acclaimed Nautilus’ from New Zealand’s physical comedy genius, Trygve Wakenshaw. Performances throughout the week come from Spy Monkey, Impropriety, Theatre RE, Animiki Theatre, Al Seed and Wendy Houston in addition to an evening of variety with Cabaret from the Shadows and the ever popular, Fest Live.
Laila The Musical
10 - 14 May | 7.30pm | 14 May | 2:30pm | 15 May | 3pm
From the creators of the award-winning Britain’s Got Bhangra comes a new contemporary musical, retelling the greatest love story from the east. Laila takes shelter from a raging storm in an old bookshop, where she chances upon a book with her name on it. She is compelled to open the book and is consumed by the story – Laila finds herself in an old story and on a new journey… The story of young love and feuding families is given a modern musical twist, taking you across the sands of time. Will love or fate prevail?
STUFF AND NONSENSE THEATRE COMPANY - The Emperor’s New Clothes
31 May – 1 Jun | 11am & 2pm
Stuff and Nonsense present a brand new romp through a classic, eccentric tale, telling the story of an Emperor who loves clothes more than anything. But despite a wardrobe the size of Paris he hasn’t got a stitch to wear! When two ‘tailors’ promise to create him an outfit that’s “never been seen before,” our eccentric Emperor doesn’t quite realise the spectacle he is about to make. Populated with puppets, music and song, this inventive production is told in true Stuff and Nonsense style, with unending energy, great storytelling and, as always, a show for all the family.
MELANIE WILSON AND FUEL - Opera for the Unknown Woman
25 & 26 May | 7.45pm
300 years from now. World economies have failed. The human vestiges of Earth are scattered and defenceless, pursued by flood and famine. Aphra, the last hope for life has two weeks to live. In 2016 a group of women from around the world are drawn together by an unearthly power, to forge a future for their planet. Can their mission alter Earth’s course and save Aphra? Written, directed and co-composed by award winning sound artist, Melanie Wilson, Opera for the Unknown Woman is a bold re-imagining of the operatic form.
3 May – 7 May
Based on Rattigan’s experiences as a tail gunner during World War II, this is an evocative portrait of life in wartime Britain. Flare Path tells the story of former actress Patricia, whose marriage to RAF pilot Teddy is tested to the limits by the surprise arrival of Patricia’s ex-lover, Hollywood idol Peter Kyle. Highly charged drama is combined with a taste of the fear, camaraderie and passion experienced by the men and women who fought to save their country, their families and each other. With heart-tugging, human emotion, Flare Path opens a window into a pivotal moment in our history.
The Machine Stops
13 May – 4 June
In a dystopian world where humans have retreated far underground, only Kuno questions their now total dependency on technology to live and communicate with each other, but in his struggle to break out can he reach the Earth’s surface before the Machine stops? E.M. Forster is best known for his novels, but his short story masterpiece from 1909 is still poignant in 2016, and is a chilling prediction and exploration of our increasingly complex relationship with technology. Featuring a brand new soundtrack composed by John Foxx, pioneer of electronic music and founder of Ultravox, and analogue synth specialist, Benge.
The Merry Wives
17 - 21 May
Sir John Falstaff is past his prime and skint!
Vain rogue that he is, he attempts, rather clumsily, to seduce a couple of well-to-do wives… but Mistress Page and Mistress Ford get wise to his plan and scheme to exact revenge with hilarious and unimaginable consequences. If you like your Shakespeare light, funny and wickedly entertaining then look no further. The Merry Wives is bursting at the seams with verbal fun, physical comedy and a bevy of cunningly colourful characters. Northern Broadsides’ distinctive charisma and zest for performance squeezes every last ounce of comedy gold from this affectionately calamitous tale.
12 May – 25 June
Christopher has been confined to a psychiatric ward for a month. He wants out. The problem is he still thinks oranges are blue. His doctor, convinced he needs help, wants to section him. The senior consultant thinks it’s all a question of culture: at home in Shepherd’s Bush Christopher will be amongst 'people who think just like him'. And besides, it costs taxpayer money to keep Christopher in care. Race, ethics, sanity and prejudice collide in Joe Penhall’s exquisitely sharp 'state of the nation' classic. Matthew Xia directs this Olivier Award-winning play, as timely now as it ever was.
20 May – 11 June
Teenagers Muna and Iqra get the same bus to school but they've never really spoken. Muna wears Topshop and sits on the top deck gossiping about Nicki Minaj’s latest beef, while Iqra sits alone downstairs in her charity shop hand-me-downs. They were both born in Somalia but come from different worlds. But as they get closer, they realise that their families share a painful secret. Tackling the urgent issue of FGM in Britain, Charlene James’ devastating new play reveals the price some girls pay to become a woman.
Official London Theatre. If you have Tokens to use, remember you can use them at all of London’s West End theatres plus, at the TKTS ticket booth in Leicester Square.
Booking fees may apply at different rates at some venues. Always check the theatre's website for full details.
*Plus your telephone company's network charge.
Details correct as of 29 April 2016.