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What to watch: best shows to see this week

What are you heading to see this week?

Clockwise from left: Sketching, A Midsummer Night's Dream and Cock
© Clockwise from left: Simon Annand, The Other Richard, Richard Davenport

It's October! The end of the year is in sight as knitwear and warm soups become the order of the day. How better to spend those chillier evenings than by going into the theatre...Below we've listed our top five openings for the week, but have to also mention some alternative great recommendations, especially Hal Coase's brand new version of Virginia Woolf's Mrs Dalloway at the Arcola, Curve's new play Memoirs of an Asian Football Casual and the London transfer of Alice Birch's The Maladie de la Mort, which comes to the Barbican.



Cock in rehearsals
© Richard Davenport

5. Cock

Minerva Theatre, until 27 October

Mike Bartlett's award-winning 2009 Cock might be an earlier work from the King Charles III and Doctor Foster playwright, but it still bristles with comedy and satirical edge. Following a gay man who falls in love with a woman, it now has its first major revival at Chichester's Minerva Theatre, with direction by JMK Award-winner Kate Hewitt and a cast made up of Luke Thallon, Matthew Needham, Isabella Laughland and Simon Chandler.



The cast of Sketching
© Simon Annand

4. Sketching

Wilton's Music Hall, until 27 October

Olivier Award-winner James Graham is trying something different with his new piece at Wilton's Music Hall in east London. The play, based on a modernised vision of Dickens' work, has been penned by Graham alongside eight new writers, selected after a call-out earlier this year. The production is a snapshot of contemporary London, told by people who haven't had their voices put on stage before. We're excited to see what the result will be.



Gbolahan Obisesan in rehearsals for The Mountaintop
© Helen Murray

3. The Mountaintop

NST City until 6 October, then UK tour

Katori Hall's Olivier Award-winning play about the last night in Martin Luther King's life had a charged and powerful revival a few years ago directed by another JMK Award-winner Roy Alexander Weise. The production now embarks on a UK tour, starting in Southampton before visiting cities across the UK. A great chance to catch an unmissable piece of theatre.



Francesca Mills as Lion in A Midsummer Night's Dream
(© The Other Richard)

2. A Midsummer Night's Dream

Crucible Theatre, until 20 October

Last time Dan Gillespie-Sells was at the Crucible Theatre, he helped create the award-winning smash hit musical Everybody's Talking About Jamie. He now returns to the venue to help compose music for a new production of A Midsummer Night's Dream, directed by the venue's artistic director Robert Hastie. The production is expected to be "brimming with musicality", so the Bard's comedy looks set to be a big musical bonanza.



1. Pack of Lies

Menier Chocolate Factory, until 17 November

Judi Dench once starred opposite real-life husband Michael Williams in the world premiere of Pack of Lies 35 years ago, and in this brand new revival at the Menier Chocolate Factory, Dench and Williams' daughter Finty Williams takes on the lead role opposite Jasper Britten, as a couple embroiled in a big Soviet spy palava.




Last chance to see: The Prisoner (National Theatre), Dance Nation (Almeida), Poet in da Corner (Royal Court), Holy Sh!t (Kiln Theatre), Wasted (Southwark Playhouse)

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