19 openings in February that should be on your radar

We take a look at some of the theatre highlights of the month


A View From the Bridge – Wyndham's Theatre

The Young Vic's hit production of Arthur Miller's A View From the Bridge starring Mark Strong transfers to the West End.

Strong is joined by fellow original cast members Emun Elliott as Marco, Phoebe Fox as Catherine, Michael Gould as Alfieri, Luke Norris as Rodolpho and Nicola Walker as Beatrice.

Ivo Van Hove's production opens at Wyndham's Theatre on 16 February 2015 for a strictly limited eight week season to 11 April 2015.

Closer – Donmar Warehouse

Directed by David Leveaux, Closer is the first production in the new season at the Donmar and runs from 12 February to 4 April 2015.

Patrick Marber's modern classic, set in London, centres on the tangled relationships between two couples, and stars Nancy Carroll, Rufus Sewell, Oliver Chris and Rachel Redford.

The Nether – Duke of York's Theatre

The Nether, which premiered at the Royal Court last year, transfers to the Duke of York's Theatre from 23 February.

Jennifer Haley's play, co-produced with Headlong, imagines a dystopian future in which people exist in a virtual reality known as the nether, where dark abuses are perpetrated against children.

Original cast members Amanda Hale and Stanley Townsend reprise their roles in the West End.

Beautiful – Aldwych Theatre

Katie Brayben, recently seen playing Princess Diana in King Charles III, plays legendary singer-songwriter Carole King in the West End premiere of Broadway hit musical Beautiful.

Opening at the Aldwych Theatre on 24 February, the show tells the story of Carole King's journey from school girl to superstar featuring classics including "Take Good Care of my Baby", "Up on the Roof" and "(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman".

Man and Superman – National Theatre, Lyttelton

Ralph Fiennes stars as John Tanner in a revival of George Bernard Shaw's Man and Superman. Directed by Simon Godwin, it opens in the Lyttelton on 25 February 2015.

How to Hold Your Breath – Royal Court

Maxine Peake returns to the Royal Court to appear in Zinnie Harris' new play How to Hold Your Breath.

The production, directed by the Royal Court's artistic director Vicky Featherstone, premieres on 4 February 2015 in the Jerwood Theatre Downstairs.

Lippy – Young Vic

Lippy is written by Bush Moukarzel with a "cameo writing appearance" from playwright Mark O'Halloran.

Created by theatre company Dead Centre, its starting point is the discovery of four female bodies, an aunt and her three nieces, in a house in Leixlip, Ireland in 2000. The show takes inspiration from a lip-reader who interpreted CCTV footage of the women in a supermarket before they shut themselves away from the world.

The cast for Lippy, which runs at the Young Vic from 19 February to 21 March 2015, includes Joanna Banks, David Heap, Bush Moukarzel, Liv O'Donoghue, and Adam Welsh.

Happy Days – Young Vic

Juliet Stevenson reprises her recent role in Happy Days when the production returns to the Young Vic from 19 February to 21 March 2015.

Samuel Beckett's play famously features a middle-aged woman, Winnie, buried up to her waist in a great mound of earth. Stevenson plays Winnie, alongside David Beames as Willie.

Farinelli and the King – Sam Wanamaker Playhouse

© Rob Greig

Mark Rylance returns to Shakespeare's Globe after success in Twelfth Night and Richard III to star in a new play with music.

Farinelli and the King, which opens on 20 February at the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse, is written by Claire van Kampen (Rylance's wife) and is set in 18th century Spain where the world's most famous castrato decides to serve under King Philip V (Rylance).

How I Learned to Drive and Gods & Monsters at Southwark Playhouse

Olivia Poulet and William Ellis star in a revival of Paula Vogel's Pulitzer Prize winning play How I learned to Drive in 'The Little' from 13 February. The production marks the first London revival of the play since its 1998 premiere at the Donmar Warehouse starring Helen McCrory and Kevin Whateley.

In 'The Large', producer Danielle Tarento presents the world premiere of Gods and Monsters from 5 February 2015. The play, adapted from the same source material as the 1998 Oscar-winning film which starred Ian McKellen and Brendan Fraser, stars Ian Gelder and Will Austin and is written and directed by Russell Labey.

Around the UK

Blasted at Sheffield Theatres

Sheffield Theatre's Sarah Kane season, which runs throughout February, features full productions of Kane's plays Blasted, Crave and 4.48 Psychosis, alongside semi-staged readings of Phaedra's Love and Cleansed, and a screening of her film, Skin.

Richard Wilson directs Jessica Barden (Cate), Martin Marquez (Ian) and Mark Stanley (Soldier) in the 20th anniversary production of Blasted.

The Absence of War at Sheffield Theatres

In the run up to this year's general election, Sheffield Theatres, Headlong and Rose Theatre Kingston will co-produce David Hare's The Absence of War. Reece Dinsdale leads the company as George Jones. The production opens at the Crucible (6-21 February) before embarking on a national tour.

Harvey at Birmingham Rep

Starring James Dreyfus and Maureen Lipman, Harvey opens at Birmingham REP on 6 February before a short UK tour and a limited West End run, opening at Theatre Royal Haymarket on 17 March 2015.

Lindsay Posner directs Mary Chase's Pulitzer Prize-winning comedy which tells the story of Elwood P. Dowd, played by Dreyfus, who has an unwavering friendship with a six-foot tall, invisible rabbit named Harvey.

The King's Speech at Chichester Festival Theatre

Raymond Coulthard plays King George VI opposite Jason Donovan as his Australian speech therapist Lionel Logue.

Directed by Birmingham Repertory Theatre's artistic director Roxana Silbert, The King's Speech opens at Chichester Festival Theatre on 5 February and then Birmingham Repertory Theatre from 25 February 2015. It subsequently visits locations including Cambridge, Glasgow, Manchester, Sheffield, Belfast, Milton Keynes, Oxford, Edinburgh and Leeds.

The play, which was the basis of the Oscar-winning film starring Colin Firth, tells the story of King George VI's relationship with his speech therapist.

Educating Rita at Liverpool Playhouse

This major revival of Educating Rita marks the play's 35th anniversary and stars Leanne Best as Rita and Con O'Neil as Frank.

The production, which runs from 6 February to 7 March 2014, will be the first to be staged professionally in Liverpool for 13 years.

Leanne Best (Ripper Street) returns to her home city to play the title role after more than a decade of successes on stage with the Everyman & Playhouse in productions including The Match Box, The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui and A Streetcar Named Desire.

Scuttlers at Manchester Royal Exchange

Written by Rona Munro (The James Plays, Mary Barton), and directed by Wils Wilson, Scuttlers tracks the lives of workers packed into poor housing in the crumbling streets of industrial Ancoats and Salford in 1885 as they meet to fight turf wars with belts, fits and knives.

From 5 February – 7 March 2015.

84 Charing Cross Road at Salisbury Playhouse

Olivier Award-winning actress Janie Dee stars in Salisbury Playhouse's revival of 84 Charing Cross Road. The original production opened at Salisbury Playhouse before transferring to the West End and Broadway.

Based on the friendship struck up in 1949 between American Helene Hanff and London bookseller Frank Doel, who sent each other books, letters and quips across the ocean for 20 years. The production is helmed by original director James Roose-Evans and plays from February 5 to February 28.

The Life and Times of Fanny Hill at Bristol Old Vic

Bristol Old Vic and Lamplighter Theatre present their co-production of The Life and Times of Fanny Hill, starring Caroline Quentin in the title role.

Quentin is joined by Phoebe Thomas, recently seen in the stage adaptation of Jacqueline Wilson's Hetty Feather, as Louisa, and Gwyneth Keyworth, best known for TV roles in Misfits and The Great Outdoors, as Swallow.

Based on the infamous erotic novel written in 1748, The Life and Times of Fanny Hill is adapted by April de Angelis and directed by Michael Oakley. It runs at Bristol Old Vic from 5 February to 7 March 2015.