Theatre highlights of the week: Lily Cole opens in Last Days of Troy and Twelve Angry Men closes

Lots of exciting things happening this week as part of LIFT and two West End closures

Monday 9 June

The Roof opens as part of LIFT

Set within the suspended reality of a brutal and unforgiving game, in the Doon Street Car Park opposite the National Theatre, this mix of three-dimensional sound and free running transports you into the body of a reluctant hero, desperate to stay alive. Wearing headphones, audiences are taken right inside this hero’s mind.

Following Electric Hotel and Motor Show, this is the third collaboration between theatre director David Rosenberg (cofounder of Shunt) and choreographer Frauke Requardt.

Tuesday 10 June

Fathers and Sons opens at the Donmar Warehouse

Caoilghionn Dunne and Anthony Calf
Caoilfhionn Dunne and Anthony Calf
© Johan Persson

WhatsOnStage Award-nominee Caoilfhionn Dunne stars in Brian Friel‘s dramatisation of Turgenev’s masterpiece.

Two young men arrive at a country estate, fresh from university: one, the son of the landowner, the other a brilliant and charismatic radical, proclaiming a dangerous new philosophy. But their warm welcome cools as the new house guest attacks the values of his hosts, bringing to the surface the tensions between one generation and the next.

Over the course of a summer, political ideals are tested by filial duty and the arrival of Anna, a mysterious visitor whose presence stirs the heart and threatens a friendship.

Fathers and Sons speaks of the heartbreak of being a parent and the terrible compromise of growing up. Lyndsey Turner returns to the Donmar to direct.

The Last Days of Troy opens at Shakespeare's Globe Theatre

Lily Cole in Last Days of Troy at Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester
Lily Cole in Last Days of Troy at Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester
© Jonathan Keenan

The Greeks are laying siege to Troy to win back their abducted queen, Helen. But as the conflict drags on, and despite battlefields scarlet with blood, opposing forces have reached a bitter stalemate. Desperate and exhausted, both Gods and mortals squabble amongst themselves for the spoils of war and the hand of victory.

The Last Days of Troy completes Homer’s Iliad, with award-winning poet and author Simon Armitage‘s dramatisation bringing the war to a brutal conclusion. It reveals a world locked in cycles of conflict and revenge, of east versus west, and a dangerous mix of pride, lies and self-deception.

Starring actress/model Lily Cole who was described as 'perfect casting' by Dominic Cavendish of the Telegraph.

The Shipment opens at Barbican Centre (LIFT)

Not afraid to tackle thorny issues of race and religion, Young Jean Lee is one of New York’s most adventurous downtown playwrights. She began by setting herself the most uncomfortable challenge she could imagine: to make, as a Korean-American, a work about African-American identity and politics.

Developed in collaboration with an all-black cast, this biting satire invites audiences on a rollercoaster ride through the assumptions, clichés and distortions that arise when exploring the experience of African-Americans today.

Cultural caricatures, from a foul-mouthed comedian to a drug dealer-turned-rapper superstar, are parodied in a series of variety numbers reminiscent of a minstrel show.

Wednesday 11 June

Tonight at 8.30 opens at Richmond Theatre

Nuffield Theatre and English Touring Theatre present the first major revival in the UK of all nine one-act plays by Noel Coward.

Following on from the critically acclaimed run at the Southampton venue, Tonight at 8.30 stops off at Richmond Theatre on its tour of the UK before heading on to Oxford, Cambridge and Brighton.

This collection of nine one-act plays by Noël Coward are performed together, three plays per night, for the first time in the UK since Coward starred in them in 1936.

From vaudeville to satire, from farce to intricate comedy of manners, from melodrama to romance, these plays span the full range of Coward’s writing. Performed in trios of three per evening, this is a unique opportunity to see all of the plays.

Thursday 12 June

Mr Burns opens at the Almeida Theatre

Cast in rehearsal for Mr Burns at the Almeida Theatre
Cast in rehearsal for Mr Burns at the Almeida Theatre
© Manuel Harlan

It’s the end of everything in contemporary America. A future without power. But what will survive?

Mr Burns asks how the stories we tell make us the people we are, explodes the boundaries between pop and high culture and, when society has crumbled, imagines the future for America’s most famous family.

Following the success of 1984, Almeida associate director Robert Icke directs Mr Burns in its European Premiere.

Starring Demetri Goritsas (Gibson), Adrian der Gregorian (Matt), Adey Grummet, Justine Mitchell (Jenny), Wunmi Mosaku (Quincy), Annabel Scholey (Maria), Michael Shaeffer (Sam), Jenna Russell (Colleen), Fiona Digney and Michael Henry.

Friday 13 June

Enduring Song opens at the Southwark Playhouse

France. 1096. Matthew, a young French Knight, sets out on the First Crusade. Behind him he leaves a broken family, a crumbling ancestral farm and a teenage sister who must save it all from ruin. From the fields of France to the churches of Antioch and the siege of Jerusalem, Enduring Song is a historical epic about love, hope and family.

Staged in the round with a cast of twenty and traditional Corsican polyphonic songs, Bear Trap Theatre Company return to Southwark Playhouse following their debut production Bound.

Saturday 14 June

Last chance to see Twelve Angry Men and Good People

Twelve Angry Men makes way for The Scottsboro Boys at the Garrick and Shakespeare in Love replaces Good People at the Noel Coward Theatre.

Check out our reviews of Twelve Angry Men and Good People.