WhatsOnStage Logo
Theatre News

Top 5 theatre openings this week: 29 August - 4 September

A Harry Potter star returns to the stage and Kenneth Branagh stars as a failing music-hall performer

WhatsOnStage logo

5. The Shawshank Redemption - Theatre Royal Windsor

Jack Ellis, Paul Nicholls and Ben Onwukwe.
© Dan Wooller/Danny Eastman

Based on the short novel by Stephen King, Bill Kenwright's production tours the UK for a second year. It features Paul Nicholls as Andy Dufresne, Ben Onwukwe as Red and Jack Ellis as Warden Stammas. It sees banker Dufresne handed a double life sentence for the murder of his wife and her lover, and wind up in Shawshank penitentiary.

31 August to 3 September, Theatre Royal Windsor. For tickets and more information, click here.

4. Britten in Brooklyn - Wilton's Music Hall

Sadie Frost (Gypsy Rose Lee) and Ryan Sampson (Benjamin Briten)
© Darren Bell

Sadie Frost stars as Gypsy Rose Lee in the world premiere of Zoe Lewis' play. Based on a true story, the play follows the bohemian lifestyle of composer Benjamin Britten, poet WH Auden, novelist Carson McCullers and burlesque entertainer Lee. It is directed by Oli Rose and the cast also includes Ruby Bentall, David Burnett, Ryan Sampson and John Hollingworth.

2 to 17 September, Wilton's Music Hall. For tickets and more information, click here.

3. Unfaithful - Found111

Best known for playing Neville Longbottom in the Harry Potter films, Matthew Lewis returns to the stage in this production at Found111. The dark comedy about relationships on the brink by Owen McCafferty gets its London premiere. The cast also includes Sean Campion (Stones in His Pockets), Niamh Cusack (The Winter's Tale) and Ruta Gedmintas (Backbeat), and it will be directed by Adam Penford.

31 August to 8 October, Found 111. For more information, click here.

2. King Lear - Royal Shakespeare Theatre

Antony Sher as King Lear and David Troughton as Earl of Gloucester in King Lear
Photo by Ellie Kurttz © RSC

Gregory Doran directs Antony Sher as King Lear, regarded as one of the greatest parts written by the Bard. The tragedy, first performed in 1606, depicts the title character's gradual descent into madness. After a six-week run in Stratford-upon-Avon, the production moves to the Barbican Theatre from 10 November. There will also be a cinema broadcast of the production on 12 October.

1 September to 15 October, Royal Shakespeare Theatre. For tickets and more information, click here.

1. The Entertainer - Garrick Theatre

© Johan Perrson

Kenneth Branagh will star in a revival of The Entertainer as Archie Rice, a failing music-hall performer in post-war Britain. Last month, Gawn Grainger replaced John Hurt, who had to withdraw following medical advice, as Billy Rice. The cast also includes Phil Dunster, Jonah Hauer-King, Crispin Letts, Sophie McShera and Greta Scacchi.

30 August to 12 November, Garrick Theatre. For tickets and more information, click here.