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What to watch: best shows to see this week

Andrew Scott returns to the London stage as a new musical comes to Bath in our top openings

The Town Hall Affair, GDIF and Andrew Scott in Sea Wall
© Clockwise from left: Steve Gunther, Compagnie Remue Ménage. Kevin Cummins

There's a great range of cool shows opening this week as the summer continues – the Wooster Group returns to the UK, a new musical opens in the form of Dusty and east London is beset by a horde of vibrant, novel (and largely free) performances in the form of the Greenwich and Docklands International Festival.



Ari Fliakos, Maura Tierney and Scott Shepherd in ''The Town Hall Affair
© Steve Gunther

5. The Town Hall Affair

Barbican, 21 to 24 June

Veteran New York theatre company The Wooster Group come to the Barbican in this reimagining of the classic film Town Bloody Hall. Set during a raucous 1971 debate about Women's Liberation, the piece is pertinent, full of intriguing debate, some expert video work and likely a new classic for the Group if the New York reviews are anything to go by. A special (albeit short-running) addition to the London theatre offering.

Read our feature on the Wooster Group



4. The Big I Am

Liverpool Everyman, 16 June to 14 July

Ibsen's classic Peer Gynt (transformed into an opera featuring the instantly recognisable "Hall of the Mountain King") gets a radical overhaul in this new production from Robert Farquhar, which is the final addition to the Liverpool Everyman season. Following in the footsteps of the company's gender-swapped Othello, this looks like an intriguing way to revise a classic piece of fantasy theatre.

Read our review of the Everyman's Othello



Katherine Kingsley in Dusty
© Johan Persson

3. Dusty

Theatre Royal Bath, then UK tour until 28 July

Katherine Kingsley takes up the mantle of Dusty Springfield in this new musical, based on the life of the classic soul singer. With a cast including Rufus Hound and Roberta Taylor as well as Beautiful Thing writer Jonathan Harvey penning the new show, the production has its eyes fixed on a West End transfer – here's a chance to see it first.

Read more about the tour announcement



Andrew Scott performs in Sea Wall at the Old Vic this week
© Kevin Cummins

2. Sea Wall

Old Vic Theatre, until 30 June

A special two-week run comes to the Old Vic in its 200th anniversary, as Simon Stephens' 30-minute monologue is revived with none other than Hamlet hero and Sherlock's nemesis Andrew Scott ready to captivate audiences at the London venue. Following a man, Alex, who thinks he has it all, the show is co-produced with Paines Plough. A chance to see an actor at the top of his game returning to a corker of a piece.

Watch our interview with Simon Stephens and Andrew Scott



La Parade Amoureuse features in this year's festival
© Compagnie Remue Ménage

1. Greenwich and Docklands International Festival

South East London, until 7 July

It's back, it's bold and it's releasing thousands of pigeons over the Thames. The Greenwich and Docklands International Festival kicks off this week with a feast of new and free productions for London audiences. A site-specific dance production of Beautiful Thing, a LED-aerial show Fly By Night and a number of circus shows all feature.

Read our round-up of the festival here




Last chance to see: Macbeth (National Theatre), My Name is Lucy Barton (Bridge Theatre), Ruthless (Arts Theatre), The Rink (Southwark Playhouse), The Daughter-in-Law (Arcola Theatre)

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