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Top 5 theatre openings this week: 25 April - 1 May

Show Boat sails into London and the Donmar presents a new Nick Payne play in this week's top picks

5. Brideshead Revisited - York Theatre Royal and tour

Rosie Hilal (Julia), Brian Ferguson (Charles) and Christopher Simpson (Sebastian)
© Helen Maybanks

Adapted by Bryony Lavery, English Touring Theatre present the first ever large-scale stage production of Evelyn Waugh's classic novel.

26 - 30 April, York Theatre Royal prior to tour. More information and tickets here.

4. Elegy - Donmar Warehouse

Zoe Wanamaker and Barbara Flynn in rehearsals for Elegy
© Helen Maybanks

A new Nick Payne play... That should be all we have to say to convince you this is worth seeing.

Following the runaway success of Constellations, Payne's new play returns to Grey Matter and boasts a stellar cast including Barbara Flynn, Nina Sosanya and Zoe Wanamaker.

27 April - 18 June, Donmar Warehouse. More information and tickets here.

3. The Toxic Avenger - Southwark Playhouse

Mark Anderson and Hannah Grover in The Toxic Avenger
© Claire Bilyard

The nerdier theatre fans out there may well have read the 1991 Marvel comic or even seen the 1984 cult-classic film, but for those of you unfamiliar with this lesser-known superhero, don't let that put you off.

With a book by Joe DiPietro and music by David Bryan (the team behind Memphis), The Toxic Avenger has been described as 'rude, crude and brilliant' by our source who caught an early preview.

26 April - 21 May, Southwark Playhouse. More information and tickets here.

2. Doctor Faustus - Duke of York's Theatre

Craig Stein, Kit Harington and Tom Edden in Doctor Faustus
© Marc Brenner

Increasingly known for his wonderfully weird and wacky productions, director Jamie Lloyd presents his first production away from the Trafalgar Studios in a couple of years.

Kit Harington, star of something on the telly, leads the cast alongside West End leading lady Jenna Russell. As per the above picture you can probably expect more blood than Sweeney and Titus combined - we're told there's even a splash zone.

25 April - 25 June, Duke of York's Theatre. More information and tickets here.

1. Show Boat - New London Theatre

The cast of Show Boat
© Johan Persson

There's going to be a big Daniel Evans shaped hole in Sheffield this Christmas, his festive musicals have become somewhat of a must-see for any theatregoer and his parting gift before heading south to Chichester was this majestic production of Oscar Hammerstein II's 1927 musical (read our review here).

Outstanding performances from the likes of Gina Beck, Rebecca Trehearn and Emmanuel Kojo are reason enough to see this show, but beautiful designs by Lez Brotherson and superb choreography from Alistair David make Show Boat one of the hottest tickets in town.

25 April - 7 January 2017, New London Theatre. More information and tickets here.