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What to watch: best shows to see this week

We pick our top shows from across the UK that are officially opening this week

Clockwise from right: Antony and Cleopatra, Pinter at the Pinter and Rock of Ages UK tour
© Top right: Marc Brenner, bottom right: The Other Richard

It's another bumper week as temperatures drop and autumn hits. While we can't get them in WOS's top five, we recommend going to see Brad Birch's new play Kettle of Fish at the Yard, starring Wendy Kweh, Debris Stevenson's Poet in da Corner which has a run at the Royal Court and is influenced heavily by Dizzee Rascal, and the all-female production of Lord of the Flies at Theatr Clwyd. The Watermill is following up on the success of The Wiper's Times by reuniting with Ian Hislop and Nick Newman for Trial By Laughter, while at the Birmingham Rep the Rebus series comes to the stage for the first time. Phew.



5. Rock of Ages

UK tour

The UK tour of Rock of Ages is ready to rock you like a hurricane, and we don't think we'll be able to fight the feeling that it'll be great. So don't stop believin' you're gonna have a great time – out of all the musicals out there, this one is a real juke-box hero. The show opens in Bromley before heading to Manchester so come on feel the noise well into the shadows of the night.



Bryan Dick and Emma Cunniffe
© Manuel Harlan

4. Hogarth's Progress

Rose Theatre, Kingston until 21 October

Keith Allen returns to the stage in this new two-parter from Nick Dear, juxtaposing one of his old plays with an entirely new text. An interesting way for a writer to reflect on his own style with a crack cast along for the ride, Allen and Bryan Dick play the same character, famed artist William Hogarth, at two stages in his life. Expect a pair of fascinating works that converse with one another.



The company of Kinky Boots
© Helen Maybanks

3. Kinky Boots

UK tour

Where better to kick off your tour than Northampton's Royal and Derngate? Considering the show is set in the city, it makes a lot of sense, and it'll be exciting to see the country fall head-over-heels in love with the musical, which can steal(-etto) your heart in an instant. So don't loaf(er) around and find out where it'll be heading near you!



Paapa Essiedu
© Marc Brenner

2. Pinter at the Pinter season

Harold Pinter Theatre, until 23 February 2019

Jamie Lloyd Company's epic exploration of the one-act works of Harold Pinter has its official opening at the Harold Pinter Theatre (where else would it be) this week, with enough stars in its cast to make any astronomer excited. Antony Sher, Paapa Essiedu, Kate O'Flynn, Jonjo O'Neill and Maggie Steed star in Pinter One, a collection of four of Pinter's plays, while Pinter Two features David Suchet, Hayley Squires, Russell Tovey and John Macmillan.



Ralph Fiennes and Sophie Okonedo
© Johan Persson

1. Antony and Cleopatra

National Theatre

It's been almost 20 years since Sophie Okonedo was at the National Theatre, so we're quite excited to see her take on the role of the iconic queen in the new production of Antony and Cleopatra. She's joined by the equally enthralling Ralph Fiennes, in what is sure to be a big winter hit over at the National.




Last chance to see: The King and I (London Palladium), Allelujah! (Bridge Theatre), Unexpected Joy (Southwark Playhouse), The Plague (Arcola Theatre)

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