21 openings in March that should be on your radar

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

Below we select 17 shows opening around the UK that are worthy of your attention. Click on the show title for further information and to book tickets. Have we missed a production out? Let us know in the comments section at the bottom of the article.


Almeida Theatre, 3 March – 4 April

Following on from the success of King Charles III, Mike Bartlett returns to the Almeida with the premiere of his new play Game.

Directed by Sacha Wares and designed by Miriam Buether, the play centres on a young couple trying to get on the housing ladder. They are offered a home of their own, but at what price? The cast includes Georgina Beedle (Peter and Alice), Clare Burt (A Streetcar Named Desire), Jodie McNee (3 Winters) and Mike Noble (The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time).

Clarence Darrow
Old Vic, 3 March – 11 April

Kevin Spacey in Clarence Darrow
Kevin Spacey in Clarence Darrow
© Manuel Harlan

Old Vic artistic director Kevin Spacey reprises his role in Clarence Darrow for a six week run as part of his final season at the helm of the venue.

Spacey starred in David W Rintels' one-man play about the famous human rights lawyer in a sell-out run last year, which played for just 22 performances.

Barbican, 4 – 28 March

Juliette Binoche
Juliette Binoche
© Jan Versweyveld

Juliette Binoche returns to the London stage in a new English language translation of Sophocles' Antigone at the Barbican.

Binoche, who won an Oscar for The English Patient in 1997, returns to the venue having appeared in Mademoiselle Julie two years ago.

Directed by Ivo van Hove, the production uses a new translation by award-winning poet Anne Carson.

Arcola, 4 – 28 March

Harry Melling in Peddling
Harry Melling in Peddling

Harry Melling‘s poetic debut play opened to acclaim at the annual HighTide Festival and Off-Broadway. For its premiere in London, the author again performs his own work. A moving exploration into family, identity and the 6000 Londoners who sleep rough every night on the Capital’s streets.

Hampstead Theatre, 6 March – 18 April

Zoe Wanamaker in Stevie
Zoe Wanamaker in Stevie

Zoë Wanamaker stars in Stevie, Hugh Whitemore's play transferring to Hampstead Theatre from Chichester Festival Theatre where it was seen last year.

The play gives a "biographical snapshot" of poet Stevie Smith, played by Wanamaker, who worked as a secretary whilst simultaneously writing the work that made her famous, including the poem Not Waving but Drowning.

Buyer and Cellar
Menier Chocolate Factory, 19 March – 2 May

Michael Urie
Michael Urie

The Menier hosts the European Premiere of Jonathan Tolins smash hit play Buyer & Cellar direct from New York. An outrageous new comedy about the oddest of odd jobs – an underemployed Los Angeles actor going to work in Barbra Streisand’s Malibu basement.

Starring Michael Urie best known for his TV roles in Ugly Betty and The Good Wife.

Theatre Royal Haymarket, 23 March – 2 May

Starring James Dreyfus and Maureen Lipman, Lindsay Posner's version of Mary Chase's Pulitzer Prize-winning comedy Harvey has a limited run in the West End having opened at Birmingham REP in February before a short UK tour.

The play tells the story of Elwood P. Dowd, played by Dreyfus, who has an unwavering friendship with a six-foot tall, invisible rabbit named Harvey.

Rules for Living
Dorfman (National Theatre), from 24 March

Stephen Mangan and Miles Jupp
Stephen Mangan and Miles Jupp
© Simon Annand

This new play by Sam Holcroft is directed by Marianne Elliott and stars Stephen Mangan, Miles Jupp and WhatsOnStage Awards nominee Deborah Findlay. It centres on a traditional family Christmas and the way it tests the coping strategies of the gathered members.

Bad Jews
Arts Theatre, 25 March – 30 May

Ilan Goodman (Liam) and Gina Bramhill (Melody) in Bad Jews
Ilan Goodman (Liam) and Gina Bramhill (Melody) in Bad Jews
© Robert Workman

The Theatre Royal Bath production of Joshua Harmon's comedy Bad Jews, transfers to the Arts Theatre following its sold out run at St James Theatre.

Set in Manhattan, the play centres on a group of relatives fighting over a treasured family heirloom left by a beloved grandfather.

The original Bath and St James cast will reprise their roles at the Arts. Jenna Augen will play the role of Daphna, Gina Bramhill will play Melody, Joe Coen will play Jonah and Ilan Goodman will play Liam.

Director Michael Longhurst's previous productions include Nick Payne's Constellations and Adam Brace's Stovepipe.

Sweeney Todd
London Coliseum, 31 March – 12 April

Emma Thompson and Bryn Terfel in Sweeney Todd
Emma Thompson and Bryn Terfel in Sweeney Todd

Academy Award-winning actress Emma Thompson and international star Bryn Terfel reprise their roles as Mrs Lovett and Sweeney Todd in this concert staging of Stephen Sondheim‘s musical Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street.

Following sell-out performances at New York’s Lincoln Center, English National Opera celebrate Sondheim’s 85th birthday with this semi-staged production of one of his most popular works. Also starring Philip Quast, Rosalie Craig and John Owen-Jones.

Vaudeville Theatre, 31 March – 23 May

John Heffernan as J. Robert Oppenheimer
John Heffernan as J. Robert Oppenheimer
© Keith Pattison

The Royal Shakespeare Company's production of Oppenheimer starring John Heffernan transfers to the West End for a limited eight week run.

Tom Morton-Smith's new play centres on the physicist credited as being the 'father of the atomic bomb', J. Robert Oppenheimer, Oppenheimer is directed by Angus Jackson, and the West End transfer will retain most of the original cast.

Around the UK

Uncle Vanya
West Yorkshire Playhouse, 4 – 21 March

Playhouse Associate Director Mark Rosenblatt (Of Mice And Men) brings Chekhov's masterpiece to the Quarry stage for the first time, in a vibrant new version by playwright Samuel Adamson.

Crave/4.48 Psychosis
Sheffield Theatres, 6 – 21 March

Tom Mothersdale rehearsing for Crave
Tom Mothersdale rehearsing for Crave
© Mark Douet

Directed by Charlotte Gwinner,Crave and 4:48 Psychosis continue the Sarah Kane season at Sheffield Theatres, following on from last month's Blasted directed by Richard Wilson.

The cast for both productions includes Rakie Ayloa, Pearl Chanda and Tom Mothersdale, with Christopher Fulford joining the company for Crave.

After Electra
Plymouth Theatre Royal, 12 – 28 March

Samuel West (director) rehearses with the After Electra company
Samuel West (director) rehearses with the After Electra company
© Manuel Harlan

Samuel West directs the premiere of April De Angelis' new play After Electra at Theatre Royal Plymouth before transfering to the Tricycle Theatre (7 April-2 May).

The play, which was announced in August last year, is billed as "a deeply moving and blisteringly witty black comedy challenging what it means to be a mother, and exploring how the choices we make can change our lives forever."

The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole
Leicester Curve, 7 March – 4 April

With book and lyrics by Jake Brunger and music and lyrics by Pippa Cleary, the new musical of the late Sue Townsend's bestseller, directed by Luke Sheppard.

Townsend's The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole Aged 13 ¾ follows the daily dramas and misadventures of Adrian's adolescent life. With dysfunctional parents, ungrateful elders, a growing debt to school bully Barry Kent and an unruly pimple on his chin, life is hard for a misunderstood intellectual who is only 13 ¾.

The Three Lions
Tour beginning at Yvonne Arnaud, Guildford, 2 – 7 March

Sean Browne (Beckham), Dugald Bruce-Lockhart (Cameron) and Tom Davey (Prince William) in Three Lions at the Edinburgh Fringe
Sean Browne (Beckham), Dugald Bruce-Lockhart (Cameron) and Tom Davey (Prince William) in Three Lions at the Edinburgh Fringe
© Alastair Muir

William Gaminara's comedy Three Lions, which premiered at last year's Edinburgh Fringe, embarks on a short UK tour before opening at the St James Theatre.

The play imagines what really went on between David Cameron, David Beckham and Prince William in a Swiss hotel the night before England's bid to host the 2018 FIFA World Cup.

Three Lions begins its tour at Yvonne Arnaud, Guildford (2-7 March 2015), before travelling to the New Wolsey Theatre Ipswich (9-14 March 2015) and Liverpool Playhouse (16-21 March), ahead of a six week run at St James Theatre from 26 March (previews from 24 March).

The Producers
Tour beginning at the Churchill Theatre, Bromley, 7 March – 14 March

Jason Manford
Jason Manford

Based on Mel Brooks' much loved Academy Award winning movie, The Producers is a musical comedy starring Jason Manford as Leo Bloom and Ross Noble as Franz Liebkind.

Impoverished by a string of flops, New York producer Max Bialystock recruits timid accountant Leo Bloom to help him pull off Broadway's greatest scam. Together they aim to produce the worst show ever and run away to Rio with millions, but they soon learn that showbusiness can always find a way to kick you in the teeth.

Tour beginning at Nottingham Playhouse, 13 – 21 March

Award-winning theatre company Shared Experience present the world première of Mermaid, a modern re-imagining of Hans Christian Andersen's classic fairy story The Little Mermaid.

Mermaid's young 'mermaids' will also take part in a nationwide project that accompanies the show that looks at the effect of the media on girl's sense of self and empowers them to challenge myths about femininity.

Mermaid opens in Nottingham and tours to Leeds, Mold, Richmond, Cardiff, Southampton, Edinburgh, Watford and Oxford from 13 March to 23 May 2015.

The Jew of Malta
Swan Theatre, Stratford-upon-Avon, 18 March – 8 September

Matthew Kelly plays Friar Jacomo in the RSC's production of The Jew of Malta and Mauruccio in Love's Sacrifice at the Stratford-upon-Avon venue.

Making his RSC debut Justin Audibert directs Christopher Marlowe's play of religious conflict and revenge. Returning to the RSC, having played the title role in Gregory Doran's productions of Henry IV Parts I and II, Jasper Britton plays the complex Machiavellian protagonist, Barabas.

A Midsummer Night's Dream
Liverpool Everyman, 21 March – 18 April

Cynthia Erivo stars as Puck in Nick Bagnall's production of A Midsummer Night's Dream, with Dean Nolan as Bottom and Liverpool favourite Andrew Schofield as Peter Quince.

Erivo, who is known for her musical performances in shows such as I Can't Sing!, The Color Purple and Sister Act, was most recently seen in Henry IV at the Donmar Warehouse.

Game of Thrones's Charlotte Hope will play Hermia, with Titania and Oberon played by Sharon Duncan-Brewster and Garry Cooper.

Beautiful Thing
Tour beginning at Marlowe Theatre, Canterbury, 23 – 24 March

Nikolai Foster's anniversary production of Beautiful Thing, begins an 18 week UK tour at the Marlowe before returning to London's West End for a short run at the Arts Theatre from 3 June to 11 July.

The production of Jonathan Harvey's play, which had a sell-out London run in 2013, stars Charlie Brooks as Sandra, Thomas Law as Ste, Sam Jackson as Jamie, Gerard McCarthy as Tony and Vanessa Babirye as Leah.

Beautiful Thing continues its tour to Birmingham, Manchester, Nottingham, Guildford, Northampton, Leicester, London, Cardiff and Brighton.