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Pride month: Top theatre to book in 2019

We round-up some unmissable theatre this month

Layton Williams and the cast of Everybody's Talking About Jamie
© Johan Persson

Pride month is running across June and we've picked some key shows worth booking to celebrate queer identities in every way imaginable!


Rotterdam

Bethan Cullinane and Lucy Jane Parkinson in Rotterdam
(© Helen Maybanks)

More timeless and pressing than ever, this critically lauded and Olivier Award-winning piece by Jon Brittain about trans-identity has been travelling the UK as part of a major tour for the past few months. It has two more stops – Eastbourne and Manchester, so there's still time to see it. Eastbourne Theatres until 12 June, Manchester Opera House until 15 June


Wife

Karen Fishwick (Daisy) and Sirine Saba (Suzannah) in Wife
© Marc Brenner

WhatsOnStage critic Alun Hood described Kiln Theatre's production of Samuel Adamson's Wife as 'thought-provoking, wonderfully theatrical and...pretty gorgeous'. Exploring sexuality across the ages and set in 1959, 1988, 2019 and 2042, this is the sort of all-encompassing storytelling that needs to appear on stages. Kiln Theatre, until 6 July


The Color Purple

Danielle Fiamanya as Nettie, T'Shan Williams as Celie and Joanna Francis as Shug Avery
© Pamela Raith

A brilliant musical that lit up the Menier Chocolate Factory when it was first seen on British stages (in a production which subsequently transferred to Broadway). The show now receives its regional premiere with Heathers' T'Shan Williams in the lead role of Celie. A big part of the story is Celie discovering her own sexuality, and it's full of iconic musical numbers. Curve Leicester, 28 June to 13 July and then Birmingham Hippodrome, 16 to 20 July


Afterglow

Afterglow
© Darren Bell

The passion-fuelled and intimate Afterglow was a big smash success in New York, running and running for 14 months and taking over $1 million in a 69-seater theatre. The raunchy three-hander (and who knows WHERE those hands have been) has just landed in Southwark. Southwark Playhouse, until 20 July


Present Laughter

Andrew Scott in rehearsals for Present Laughter
© Manuel Harlan

The Old Vic's artistic director Matthew Warchus has done something special with his new revival of Noël Coward's Present Laughter, switching up character genders to add a sexual fluidity to proceedings. It'll be fascinating to see how this all works out when the show is staged, but with Andrew Scott leading a starry cast the piece is definitely a hot ticket. The Old Vic, 17 June to 10 August


Napoli, Brooklyn


© Marc Brenner

Having earned its fair share of critical praise when it first appeared in New York, Meghan Kennedy's enthralling coming-of-age tale is set in 1960 Brooklyn and tackles issues of sexuality and gender among three sisters as they learn more about themselves. It now has its London premiere at the Park Theatre. Park Theatre, 13 June to 13 July


Everybody's Talking About Jamie

Layton Williams and the cast of Everybody's Talking About Jamie
© Johan Persson

The smash-hit British musical has been receiving huge acclaim from all corners of the theatre world and continues its run at the Apollo Theatre. Based on real events, it follows 16 year-old schoolboy turned drag queen Jamie as he overcomes his fears and finds his true identity. Winner of three WhatsOnStage Awards including Best New Musical, it's a tale of learning to be yourself, no matter what people think. Apollo Theatre, booking until 25 January 2020


Closer to Heaven

Closer to Heaven

Jonathan Harvey and the Pet Shop Boys' iconic 2001 musical returns in a new revival over at Vauxhall's flashy and refurbished Above The Stag Theatre. Following a raft of lovelorn and flawed characters who all end up getting high on ketamine together, it's the sort of show worth experiencing in an intimate space. Above the Stag, from 3 July


Hotter

Mary Higgins and Ell Potter
© Holly Revell

Hotter was a massive Edinburgh Fringe hit in 2018, and will come to Soho Theatre for a week in June (though it returns, this time to the main space, in September, following another stint north of Hadrian's Wall at this year's festival). Exploring body positivity and sexuality with a funky verbatim backdrop, this is an hour of theatre that you won't forget in a hurry. Soho Theatre upstairs until Saturday 15 June then Edinburgh Fringe, 12 to 25 August and Soho Theatre main theatre, 2 to 7 September


The View Upstairs

The View Upstairs
© Soho Theatre

A new musical having its UK premiere in the heart of Soho, The View Upstairs has a musical theatre cast to die for, featuring the likes of Tyrone Huntley, Andy Mientus, Declan Bennett, Victoria Hamilton-Barritt, Cedric Neal and John Partridge. The piece is set in a '70s gay bar, burned down in an arson attack. It doesn't open until July but definitely worth booking for now! Soho Theatre, 18 July to 24 August

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