5. The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole Aged 13 3/4
Menier Chocolate Factory, until 9 September
Sue Townsend's popular young adult novel has become something of a cult classic, telling the story of the titular hero's battle with school bullies and spots. Its musical form, running at the Menier and directed by Luke Sheppard, is the work of Jake Brunger and Pippa Cleary. It also happens to mark Mole's 50th birthday. Dean Chisnall, Kelly Price and Gay Soper lead the cast.
Royal Court, until 9 September
Thirty years after its original staging at the Royal Court, Jim Cartwright's play returns, now feeling as relevant and important as ever. John Tiffany directs a cast including Michelle Fairley, in a tale about a grim and humorous fictional Northern town (though the crisis it faces seems significantly more real). Word from previews hints that the show features one of the greatest dances between man and shopping trolley.
3. Girl from the North Country
The Old Vic, until 8 October
Written and directed by Conor McPherson, Girl from the North Country is the long awaited musical play based on the works of Bob Dylan. Stage and screen stars Ciarán Hinds and Shirley Henderson lead the ensemble, with the show revolving around an isolated community in 1930s Minnesota. Expect rustic charm infused with hopeful lyricism.
National Theatre, until 28 September
The Large Hadron Collider may be an unorthodox subject matter for Lucy Kirkwood's new drama, but with direction from artistic director Rufus Norris and an impressive cast including Olivia Colman and Olivia Williams, the show looks set to redefine sibling dramas with a bold new context. Given Kirkwood's successes with Chimerica and NSFW, expect a solid script and characterisation (though given the fact the run has sold out, tickets may be hard to come by).
1. Cat on a Hot Tin Roof
Apollo Theatre, until 7 October
Tennessee Williams' 1955 Pulitzer Prize-winning play marks the first Young Vic production to debut on the West End, with Benedict Andrews directing the tale of a Mississippi family crisis. Jack O'Connell, Sienna Miller and Colm Meaney lead the cast. Andrews and Williams plays are certainly a productive partnership, after the revolutionary 2014 adaptation of A Streetcar Named Desire on the Young Vic's main stage.
- Young Vic
- Royal Court
- Old Vic
- Conor McPherson
- Olivia Williams
- Lucy Kirkwood
- Benedict Andrews
- Jim Cartwright
- John Tiffany
- Bob Dylan
- Sienna Miller
- Sue Townsend
- Colm Meaney
- Jack O 'Connell
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