It’s Sunday! My favourite day! The day for coffees and papers and extended breakfasts that last until suppertime…
I always have my nose buried in various papers on a Sunday, and usually skip over the theatre sections as there is just SO MUCH to see. Nothing else can bring on such a severe case of FOMO*, than the arts and theatre section in a decent broadsheet.
So assuming you feel the same (and you may well not, but never mind) here is my edit for August. You’re welcome.
Have you seen anything good at the theatre recently?
(*FOMO – Fear Of Missing Out. I know – it’s hard to keep up with the kids.)
A Naughty Night with Noël Coward
Old Red Lion Theatre, 418 St John Street, London EC1V 4NJ
4th – 29th August
It’s time to get a little bit naughty. A Naughty Night with Noël Coward looks at the scandalous side of high society with two hilarious one-act plays by Noël Coward: We Were Dancing and The Better Half. Coward’s wicked wit comes alive in this naughty night of extramarital affairs. We Were Dancing follows Louise, a married woman, and Karl as they fall madly in love at a country club in the South Pacific. They quickly make plans to travel to Australia together but realise shortly afterwards that they have absolutely nothing in common! The Better Half looks at Alice and David who are stuck in an unhappy marriage when David is on the brink of having an affair. What David doesn’t realise is that his wife is trying to encourage the affair because she feels sorry for him. This play was never actually published and was eventually discovered in 2007, 34 years after Coward’s death.
London’s Free Open-Air Theatre Season
The Scoop, More London Riverside, London SE1 2DB
5th –30th August
This free, action-packed, open-air theatre season explores how our ancestors regarded the morality of war, in comedy and drama. It is London’s only ‘free to all’ annual season of classical theatre. With one show for all the family and one for older audiences, London’s Free Open-Air Theatre Season aims to make theatre more accessible so there’s no need to book – just turn up and take a seat! The exciting new productions are: Captain Show-Off! (a joyous family show that invites you to the bustling Roman town that is the home of self-proclaimed war hero Captain Show-Off) and Women of Troy (the Ancient Greek playwright Euripides’ gripping account of the courageous women on opposing sides of the Trojan War – their sacrifices, triumphs and tragedies).
The Wanton Sublime by Tarik O’Regan and The Medium by Peter Maxwell Davies
Arcola Theatre, 24 Ashwin Street, Dalston, London E8 3DL
25th –29th August
This exciting double bill comprises of the European premiere of The Wanton Sublime by twice Grammy-nominated composer Tarik O’Regan (Heart of Darkness) and Peter Maxwell Davies’ The Medium. With a libretto adapted by feminist New York poet Anna Rabinowitz from her eponymous poetry collection, The Wanton Sublime is a ground-breaking electro-acoustic work for mezzo-soprano and chamber ensemble. The Medium is Peter Maxwell Davies’ most daring work – a one-act opera for an a cappella singer. With no extraneous effects, the music powers up the listener’s imagination conjuring a claustrophobic, all-encompassing world. Both operas are sung by the incredible Hai-Ting Chinn recently performed in Robert Wilson’s expressionist masterpiece Einstein on the Beach.
You Won’t Succeed on Broadway if You Don’t Have Any Jews
St. James Theatre, 12 Palace Street, London SW1E 5JA
25th August –5th September
It has been said that ‘You won’t succeed on Broadway if you don’t have any Jews’. Broadway wouldn’t be what it is today without the Jewish composers and writers whose melodies we so greatly adore. This show is a joyous celebration of over 80 years of the Jewish contribution to Musical Theatre featuring an all-star cast including Lloyd Daniels, Sarah Earnshaw and Sophie Evans. The audience will be taken on a captivating musical journey from the 1930s to present day, with the biggest hits from every decade performed by seasoned West End performers, a dancers’ ensemble and on-stage band.
Thoroughly Modern Millie
Landor Theatre, 70 Landor Road, London SW9 9PH
18th August –13th September
This new production of Thoroughly Modern Millie marks the show’s triumphant return to London 12 years. Based on the popular movie and filled with frisky flappers, dashing leading men and a villainess, the infamous Mrs Meers, Thoroughly Modern Millie is a perfectly constructed show of madcap merriment. Itis a high-spirited romp that will have everyone dancing the Charleston. Set in New York in 1922, Thoroughly Modern Millie tells the story of young Millie Dillmount, who has just moved to the city in search of a new life. It’s a New York full of intrigue and jazz – a time when women were entering the workforce and the rules of love and social behaviour were changing forever.