John and The Brothers Size make our top openings of the week
What are you going to see this week?
5. Lady Windermere's Fan
Vaudeville Theatre until 7 April
Dominic Dromgoole's Oscar Wilde season rolls onwards with its second major production, Lady Windermere's Fan. Legendary director and performer Kathy Burke takes the wheel in this romantic farce, with a cast including Samantha Spiro, Kevin Bishop, Joseph Marcell and Grace Molony. Perhaps most excitingly, the production sees the long overdue stage return of Jennifer Saunders as the quickwitted comedic scene-stealer Duchess of Berwick.
Ambassadors Theatre until 24 March
Beginning got a raft of rave reviews when it opened at the National Theatre last autumn, and the show now moves into the West End, filling the theatre that was formerly occupied by the recently departed Stomp. A romantic two-hander set in the dying hour and a half of a housewarming party, the piece sees a pair of 30-somethings awkwardly developing feelings for one another. Critic Sarah Crompton said the show was "incredibly funny but sometimes so truthful it's almost too painful to watch..." We can't wait to see its return.
3. Black Men Walking
Royal Exchange Manchester until 3 February, then UK tour
Black Men Walking marks the first show in Eclipse Theatre's Revolution Mix movement, which aims to promote black British stories and their performance in UK theatres. In a co-production with the Royal Exchange in Manchester, the piece follows a walking group based in Sheffield. The brainchild of rapper Testament, this looks set to be a hot ticket while it tours over the next few months. And London audiences, fret not, the show is coming to the Royal Court in March.
2. The Brothers Size
Young Vic, until 14 February
Tarell Alvin McCraney was the toast of Hollywood when Moonlight (for which he wrote the screenplay) won Best Picture at the Academy Awards last year. He makes a return to the Young Vic with his play The Brothers Size which is now being revived after originally running in 2007. The show touts RSC star Sope Dirisu, returning cast member Anthony Welsh and new graduate Jonathan Ajayi, who we recently picked out as a face to watch in 2018.
National Theatre, until 3 March
Annie Baker's John went down a storm when it opened stateside in 2015, and the play now makes its European premiere at the Dorfman Theatre, with James MacDonald directing. If Baker's previous show at the venue, The Flick, is an experience to go by, this is looking likely to be a solid start to the new year for the National's smallest and most versatile space.