Top 5 theatre openings: 16 – 22 January

From Burt Bacharach to Donald Trump, we take a look at the pick of the openings this week

Gabriel Vick as Chuck & Daisy Maywood as Fran
Gabriel Vick as Chuck & Daisy Maywood as Fran
© Claire Bilyard

5) Promises, Promises

17 January to 18 February 2017, Southwark Playhouse

After the success of Close to You at the Menier Chocolate Factory and Criterion, Burt Bacharach returns to the capital, this time with Hal David (lyrics) and Neil Simon (book).

The musical, based on Billy Wilder's 1960 film The Apartment, follows a junior executive looking to climb the corporate ladder by lending his apartment to his bosses to use for extramarital affairs.

Joel Fry, Jeff Rawle and Tom Bennett in rehearsals for Raising Martha
Joel Fry, Jeff Rawle and director Michael Fentiman in rehearsals for Raising Martha
© Darren Bell

4) Raising Martha

17 January to 11 February 2017, Park Theatre

Here's a frontrunner for most bizarre plot line of 2017. David Spicer's new play is set on an old frog farm, which now grows cannabis and is under siege by animal rights activists.

Read our interview with Joel Fry, who plays Jago, a militant vegan animal rights activist – yep.

© Gage Skidmore/Flickr

3) Top Trumps

19 to 21 January 2017, Theatre503

It's hard to imagine what the first week of Donald Trump's presidency has in store, let alone the first 100 days, but that's exactly what Theatre503 are proposing to do in this festival of new plays.

Playwrights including Caryl Churchill, Roy Williams and Neil LaBute have penned new pieces responding to the upcoming US president's election and inauguration. Find out more here.

2) Thoroughly Modern Millie

15 December to 21 January 2017, New Wimbledon Theatre then tour

Less than a month after she won the Strictly Come Dancing Glitterball Trophy, Joanne Clifton takes the stage in the titular role of Richard Morris, Dick Scanlan and Jeanine Tesori's musical.

The show, about a Kansas girl who moves to New York determined to make it big, includes popular songs such as "Gimme Gimme" and "Not for the Life of Me".


1) Us/Them

20 January to 18 February 2017, Dorfman, National Theatre

It sold out its run at this year's Edinburgh Fringe Festival and now Carly Wijs' play comes to the National Theatre.

In her five star review for the Guardian, Lyn Gardner described the piece – based on the real life events surrounding a siege at a school in Beslan, Russia in 2014 – as a 'remarkable piece of theatre' that 'defies preconceptions'.