Theatre highlights of the week: Carousel, Colby Sisters, Wonderland and more openings
A busy week for Off-West End this week with some major openings at Tricycle, Arcola and Hampstead Theatres
Monday 23 June
The Valley of Astonishment opens at the The Young Vic
Imagine a world where every sound has a colour. Where every colour has a taste. Where the number 8 is a fat lady.
The Valley of Astonishment explores the experiences of real people who see the world in a radically different light. Described as a kaleidoscopic journey into the wonders of the human brain, inspired by years of neurological research, true stories and Farid Attar's epic mystical poem The Conference of the Birds.
Voted the best musical of the 20th Century by Time Magazine, Carousel is the classic American musical, with a timeless score that includes the songs "If I Loved You", "June Is Bustin' Out All Over" and the iconic "You'll Never Walk Alone". This interpretation from Morphic Graffiti illuminates the immediacy of this heart lifting story; the belief in forgiveness and the power of the human spirit.
When mill worker Julie Jordan falls for the masculine charms of Billy Bigelow, a chain of events unravels that suggests their destiny is predetermined by the hand of fate. Set on the New England coastline, against the backdrop of the Great Depression, this reimagining of Rodgers and Hammerstein's Carousel charts a story of recklessness, regret and redemption.
Hostage Song opens at the Finborough
In an unspecified time and place, Jim and Jennifer are hostages, blindfolded and awaiting their fate. In an effort to distract themselves from their inevitable demise, they forge a relationship while trying to let go of the images of their loved ones. As the reality of their predicament becomes clearer, the fantasy becomes more vivid. Rock music propels the story forward as the two take refuge in music, memory and each other, grappling in the dark for the last bit of love they will ever know.
Wednesday 25 June
In a world of champagne and canapés, the five Colby sisters are the glamorous faces of New York high society. With wealth, style and desirable husbands, they appear to have it all.
But privately, the sisters' squabbles distort the picture of this perfect family. Image is everything, and struggling to maintain it could have life-changing consequences.
Thursday 26 June
Wonderland opens at the Hampstead Theatre Main Stage
The Midlands, 1984. Two young lads are about to learn what it is to be a miner, to be accepted into the close camaraderie and initiated into a unique workplace where sweat, toil, collapsing roofs and explosions are all to be met with bawdy humour.
London, 1984. A conflicted Tory MP, a brash American CEO and an eccentric maverick are the face of a radical Conservative government preparing to do battle with the most powerful workforce, the miners.
As the two sides clash, the miners fight for their livelihoods and families, and the government for its vision of a free Britain. Together they change the fabric of the nation forever.
A finalist for The Susan Smith Blackburn Prize for Best New Play, Wonderland is Steel's second play following the critically acclaimed Ditch (Old Vic Tunnels).
Friday 27 June
Twelfth Night Re-Imagined opens at the Open Air Theatre
This madcap tale of mistaken identity is guaranteed to captivate younger audiences this summer. Directed by Max Webster at Regent's Open Air Theatre, whether you are six or sixty, it's the perfect play to share with all the family.
My Girl 2 opens at the Old Red Lion
My Girl 2 is a play about making hard moral choices in difficult economic times.
Anita and Sam live in East London. Burdened by debt, and on the eve of giving birth to their second child, Anita begins to wonder whether it was a good idea for Sam to become a social worker. Can they survive in Cameron's London on his wage with two children? Anywhere else it would be fine, but where he's needed most, can Sam make ends meet? Will their marriage take the strain, as the needs of family are pitted against the greater good?
Brought to you by Dilated Theatre Company, and starring Emily Plumtree (National Theatre, RSC. Almeida) and Alexander Neal (OffWestEnd-award nominated), My Girl 2 is a bitter-sweet love story about the stifling of idealism in Cameron's Britain.