Theatre highlights of the Week: Gillian Anderson in Streetcar and Cynthia Erivo in Dessa Rose

Stars of stage and screen in several big openings this week

Monday 28 July

Porgy and Bess opens at the Open Air Theatre

© Alastair Muir

A powerful story of love and betrayal, Porgy and Bess is celebrated as a landmark piece of American theatre. Porgy, a crippled beggar, is devoted to taming wild Bess and saving her from a life of ruin. Yet new beginnings give way to temptation as Bess is haunted by the demons of her past.

Directed by Timothy Sheader and starring Rufus Bonds Jr and Nicola Hughes in the title roles. Phillip Boykin reprises the role of Crown and Olivier Award winner Sharon D Clarke joins the cast as Mariah.

For more info and to buy tickets click here.

A Streetcar Named Desire opens at the The Young Vic

© Johan Persson

Directed by Benedict Andrews (Three Sisters) and co-produced by the Young Vic and Joshua Andrews, Tennessee Williams' 1947 play centres on fading southern belle Blanche DuBois (Gillian Anderson), whose arrival at the home of her sister Stella and her brutish husband Stanley Kowalski upsets their marital dynamic and sets Blanche and Stanley on a violent collision course.

The cast comprises Anderson, Ben Foster, Vanessa Kirby, Corey Johnson, Clare Burt, Lachele Carl, Branwell Donaghey, Otto Farrant, Nicholas Gecks, Troy Glasgow, Stephanie Jacob and Claire Prempeh.

For more info and to buy tickets click here.

Tuesday 29 July

The Nightmares of Carlos Fuentes opens at the Arcola

© Judy Goldhill

The world premiere of Rashid Razaq‘s new black comedy is based on an award-winning short story by Hassan Blasim in which an Iraqi refugee comes to London in search of his dream. Directed by Nicolas Kent, former artistic director of the Tricycle Theatre, the cast includes Nabil Elouahabi (The Great Game – Afghanistan, Top Boy).

For more info and to buy tickets click here.

Thursday 31 July

Dessa Rose opens at the Trafalgar Studios

© Scott Rylander

Cynthia Erivo plays the title role in the European premiere of Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty's 2005 musical Dessa Rose. The show, which is based on the book by Sherley Anne Williams, is set in 1846 and follows two young women – one white, one black – on their journey to acceptance in racially divided southern America.

Ahrens and Flaherty's other award-winning collaborations include Ragtime, Once On This Island, Seussical and Rocky The Musical.

For more info and to buy tickets click here.

Marry me a Little opens at the St James Theatre

Marry Me A Little uses material by Stephen Sondheim to tell a charming and bittersweet tale of love, loneliness and survival as a modern single. Two single strangers, left alone in their studio apartments on a Saturday night, pass their time with sweetly secret, unshared fantasies, never knowing that they’re just a floor away from each other and the end of their lonely dreams. Starring Simon Bailey and Laura Pitt-Pulford.

For more info and to buy tickets click here.

My Night with Reg opens at the Donmar Warehouse

On its premiere, Kevin Elyot‘s Olivier and Evening Standard Award-winning comedy, My Night with Reg, defined a moment in the lives of gay men and became an instant classic. For its 20th anniversary, rising star Robert Hastie directs the first major revival.

At Guy’s London flat, old friends and new gather to party through the night. This is the summer of 1985, and for Guy and his circle the world is about to change forever. Deliciously funny and bittersweet, Kevin Elyot’s comedy captures the fragility of friendship, happiness and life itself.

For more info and to buy tickets click here.

Saturday 2 August

Last chance to see: Hotel, Handbagged, This Was a Man and In Lambeth

© Tristram Kenton

Read our reviews:

Hotel: ReviewTickets.

Handbagged: ReviewTickets.

This Was a Man: ReviewTickets.

In Lambeth: ReviewTickets.