Top 5 theatre openings: 17 – 23 April

From a new Duncan Sheik musical to a new Simon Stephens play, we run down the most exciting openings this week

5. Home Truths

The Bunker, 21 to 23 April

Fresh from their UK tour of Cathy, theatre company Cardboard Citizens takes over the new space underneath the Menier Chocolate Factory, the Bunker, and presents nine plays about the history of housing over three nights.

Read more about Home Truths here

Simon Armstrong (Sir Toby Belch) Kate O'Donnell (Feste) and Harry Attwell (Sir Andrew Aguecheek)
Simon Armstrong (Sir Toby Belch) Kate O’Donnell (Feste) and Harry Attwell (Sir Andrew Aguecheek)
© Jonathan Keenan

4. Twelfth Night

Royal Exchange, Manchester, 20 April to 20 May

What better time to open a new production of Shakespeare's comedy than in the week of his birth? Best known for her work in opera, director Jo Davies promises to bring a new approach to this oft performed text. Mina Anwar plays Maria alongside a cast that also includes Harry Attwell as Andrew Aguecheek and Anthony Calf as Malvolio.

Beatrice Scirocchi and Sharon Duncan-Brewster
Beatrice Scirocchi and Sharon Duncan-Brewster
© Chloe Lamford

3. Nuclear War

Royal Court, 21 April to 6 May

Details on Simon Stephens' new play, directed by Imogen Knight, are still scarce and it may or may not be about an actual nuclear war. Either way, considering the current posturing by Messrs Trump and Jong Un, you can guarantee it will feel bang up to date.

Read more about the new Royal Court season here

2. Whisper House

The Other Palace, 18 April to 27 May

The composer behind American Psycho and Spring Awakening, Duncan Sheik, returns to the London stage with this new musical set in World War II. It tells the story of a boy who is sent to live with an aunt he has never met on the east coast of America. The show's incredible cast includes Simon Lipkin, Niamh Perry, Nicholas Goh, Simon Bailey and Dianne Pilkington.

Check out our blog from the show's designer

Matt Berry and Simon Bird in The Philanthropist
Matt Berry and Simon Bird in The Philanthropist
© Manuel Harlan

1. The Philanthropist

Trafalgar Studios, 20 April to 22 July

Simon Callow directs a cast including Matt Berry, Simon Bird and Lily Cole in Christopher Hampton's dark comedy. Written as a response to Molière's The Misanthrope, it tells of a group of young academics in an English university town. Their cosy isolated lives on campus are brought into question when the world around them starts going to pot (topical much?).

Watch our video with the cast of The Philanthropist