Top 5 openings of the week: 28 August – 1 September

New shows at the Globe and Hope Mill theatres, plus Tom Hiddleston tackles the Dane

Cel Spellman in Talk Radio
Cel Spellman in Talk Radio

5.Talk Radio

Old Red Lion Theatre, until 23 September

It's been 30 years since Eric Bogosian's play had its inaugural production at at the Public Theater in New York, yet the show's discussions about American prejudices and the impact of mass media feel as pertinent as ever. With art imitating life, Radio 1 DJ Cel Spellman joins the cast, including EIFF Best Actor nominee Matthew Jure.

See our full casting announcement here.

© Dan Wooller for WhatsOnStage

4. How the Other Half Loves

Theatre Royal Windsor, then tour until 2 December

Alan Ayckbourn's farcical collision of warring couples had a strong opening when it premiered on the West End, and the national tour will see the show visit Windsor, Salford, Glasgow, Malvern, Bath and Norwich over the next few months. The show stars Matthew Cottle, Charlie Brooks and Robert Daws.

You can read our review of the 2016 West End run of the show here.

Pippin the Musical
Pippin the Musical

3. Pippin

Hope Mill Theatre, until 23 September

Pippin makes its northern UK premiere this week at the Hope Mill Theatre, a venue previously responsible for hits including Yank!, Hair and Parade. Stephen Schwartz's classic score charts the life of the young Pippin, battling the tyranny of his father Charlemagne.

You can read our review of the Hope Mill's Yank! here.

Lions and Tigers in rehearsal
Lions and Tigers in rehearsal

© Helena Miscioscia

2. Lions and Tigers

Sam Wanamaker Playhouse, until 16 September

Lions and Tigers is the world premiere of a new play by leading playwright Tanika Gupta, based on the true story of her great uncle and freedom fighter Dinesh Gupta. The show aims to challenge prejudices regarding colonial history, exposing some assumptions regarding the glorious British Empire, especially in the context of India.

See the full casting announcement here.

Tom Hiddleston stars in Hamlet
Tom Hiddleston stars in Hamlet

1. Hamlet

Jerwood Vanbrugh Theatre, until 23 September

If you haven't already got tickets for this very special version of Hamlet, directed by Kenneth Branagh and starring Tom Hiddleston in the lead role, then in all likelihood you won't see it. The special three week run of the show, raising money for RADA, has also caused a storm by not inviting critics to review.

Have we had too many Hamlets?