5. Calm Down Dear festival
Camden People's Theatre, until 4 February
Camden People's Theatre's feminist festival Calm Down Dear has become a firm fixture in the fringe theatre calendar, now celebrating its fifth anniversary at the north London venue. The spotlight will be placed squarely on the experiences of artists of colour at the festival this year, with Racheal Ofori and Heather Agyepong's So Many Reasons, supported by a Jerwood grant, leading a packed lineup of cutting edge theatre.
The Watermill, until 10 February then UK tour
Tristan Bernays wowed audiences last summer with his play about the British legend Boudica at the Globe, and his rock'n'roll '50s musical Teddy is now prepped for a UK tour after its opening run at the Watermill Theatre in Newbury. Set in a hip south London on the night of non-stop partying, the musical combines new music with classic '50s anthems. Pukka.
3. Twilight: Los Angeles, 1992
Gate Theatre, until 10 February
Anna Deavere Smith was nominated for two Tony Awards for her one-woman show Twilight: Los Angeles, 1992 back in 1994, losing out in the Best New Play category to a little known piece called Angels in America. The charged account of the deadly riots referred to in the title, told from multiple viewpoints all recreated by the single performer, is now revived at the Gate Theatre, with direction by Ola Ince. Nina Bowers plays the twenty five different characters, in what will be a blistering reflection on racial oppression in the US.
2. All's Well That Ends Well
Sam Wanamaker Playhouse, until 3 March
Caroline Byrne had a runaway success with her all-Irish production of The Taming of the Shrew at Shakespeare's Globe in 2016, so her return to the South Bank location with this new production of Shakespeare's All's Well That Ends Well looks set to be as intriguing and subversive as that production. With dying kings, brewing wars and struggling romances, this could be a cracking way to see out Emma Rice's season as outgoing artistic director.
1. The Birthday Party
Harold Pinter Theatre, until 14 April
Pinter in the Pinter to celebrate the 60th anniversary of Pinter's most iconic work? Sounds like a landmark theatre moment, made all the more promising by the star-studded cast, featuring Toby Jones, Zoë Wanamaker, Stephen Mangan and Doctor Who-alumna Pearl Mackie. Set in a boarding house on the southern coast, the surreal piece takes a turn towards the absurd with the arrival of two shady unknowns.
- Shakespeare's Globe
- Gate Theatre
- The Birthday Party
- Watermill Theatre
- Calm Down Dear
- Camden People's Theatre
- Caroline Byrne
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