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What to watch: best shows to see this week

It's a starry week as Orlando Bloom, Vanessa Kirby and Laura Linney all open in shows

Clockwise from top left: Laura Linney; Orlando Bloom and Sophie Cookson in Killer Joe; Tom Scutt and Vanessa Kirby rehearse Julie; the cast of A Monster Calls

As the sun comes out across the UK, so do the stars with lots of celebrity-led productions opening over the next few days. Take a look below for our top opening this week, others to take a look at include Paterson Joseph's Sancho at Wilton's, The Strange Death of John Doe at Hampstead and the West End transfer of David Haig's Pressure.



The company of Summer Holiday in rehearsal
© Ray Jefferson

5. Summer Holiday

Bolton Octagon, until 23 June

The Octagon presents a new site-specific version of the musical which starred Cliff Richard and the Shadows in the '60s. This immersive version will see audiences ride double-decker buses and witness a 'bus crash' outside Bolton Town Hall, and features songs including "In the Country", "Summer Holiday", "Travellin' Light" and "Living Doll".

Read our casting announcement



The company of A Monster Calls
© Manuel Harlan

4. A Monster Calls

Bristol Old Vic until 16 June, Old Vic from 7 July to 26 August

Sally Cookson directs the stage adaptation of Patrick Ness' novel. It tells the story of a young boy, Conor, dealing with the imminent loss of his mother and a tempestuous time at school, when a big tree monster arrives. It runs in Bristol before transferring to the Old Vic.

Check out our rehearsal photo gallery



Laura Linney
© David Gordon

3. My Name is Lucy Barton

Bridge Theatre, until 23 June

Love Actually star Laura Linney makes her London stage debut in the stage adaptation of Elizabeth Strout's Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, which has been adapted into a monologue by Rona Munro and directed by Richard Eyre. It sees the titular character wake after an operation to find her mother, who she hasn't seen in years, sat at the foot of her bed.

13 screen stars on stage in London this year



Orlando Bloom and Sophie Cookson in Killer Joe
© Marc Brenner

2. Killer Joe

Trafalgar Studios, until 18 August

Orlando Bloom plays a policeman-cum-hitman in Tracy Letts' piece. Upon arriving in a trailer park for a job he encounters a young woman called Dottie. The play was adapted into a film in 2011 starring Matthew McConaughey.

Have a look at the production images for Killer Joe



Designer Tom Scutt and Vanessa Kirby in rehearsals for Julie
© Richard Hubert Smith

1. Julie

National Theatre, until 8 September

Fresh from playing Princess Margaret in Stephen Daldry's Netflix smash hit, The Crown, Vanessa Kirby stars in Polly Stenham's adaptation of Strindberg's Miss Julie. Directed by Carrie Cracknell, the classic play, set during a late night party, is reimagined and set in contemporary London.

Read about the National's current season

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