What to watch: best shows to see this week

We have a look at some of this week’s hottest new openings

Clockwise from left: Queen Margaret, othellomacbeth and Tartuffe
Clockwise from left: Queen Margaret, othellomacbeth and Tartuffe
© Left: Anneka Morley Bottom right: RSC, photo by Topher McGrillis
This seems to be the week of Shakespeare mash-ups in Manchester, as both HOME and Royal Exchange venues are creating new plays by merging together existing ones! You can find out more about Othellomacbeth and Queen Margaret below. As ever, it's very much a manic week so we're sad not to be able to spend more time discussing Vulcan7 in Guildford, Twelfth Night up at the Lyceum, the new UK tour of Still Alice or the welcome return of HighTide in Walthamstow. Plus The Prisoner has its National Theatre opening night as well.

Sandy Grierson in Othellomacbeth
Sandy Grierson in Othellomacbeth

5. Othellomacbeth

HOME Manchester, until 29 September, the Lyric Hammersmith

Jude Christian has mashed together two of Shakespeare's greatest tragedies, Macbeth and Othello, into a completely new play that features bits from both. We're very intrigued as to what the results will be, but with some great casting including Sandy Grierson, this will be a great piece of new writing and experimentation. It also heads to Lyric Hammersmith next month.

4. Touching the Void

Bristol Old Vic, until 6 October

Joe Simpson's epic memoir about a mountaineering accident gone wrong takes cliffhanger to a whole new level – and now 30 years on it's getting its stage premiere in a new version penned by David Greig and directed by Tom Morris. A tense thriller about two men dangling over a huge chasm, the piece transfers to Edinburgh's Lyceum and Northampton's Royal and Derngate, so there's no reason not to go!

Tartuffe in the West End
Tartuffe in the West End
© RSC, photo by Topher McGrillis


RSC Swan Theatre, until 23 February 2019

The RSC has billed this new version of Molière's Tartuffe, adapted by Anil Gupta and Richard Pinto (responsible for shows like The Office, Goodness Gracious Me and The Kumars at No. 42), as a "wickedly hilarious Brummy satire", with the French court transplanted to modern day Birmingham. With selfie sticks and Twitter hijincks, this looks like a fun reinterpretation of one of the greatest comedies.

Oliver Ryan, Priyanga Burford and Will Keen
Oliver Ryan, Priyanga Burford and Will Keen all star in Eyam
© Left and right: Dan Wooller for WhatsOnStage

2. Eyam

Shakespeare's Globe, until 13 October

Michelle Terry's first new writing piece at the Globe, Emilia, was a huge success that became a bit of a cult storm. Coming up next is Matt Hartley's Eyam, set in the midst of the Great Plague. The Globe's website for Eyam features the following warning: "the plague isn't a pretty disease so also anticipate blood, pus, boils, nudity and scenes of an upsetting nature." Maybe bring something waterproof if you're in the Yard!

Jade Anouka in rehearsals for Queen Margaret
Jade Anouka in rehearsals for Queen Margaret
© Anneka Morley

1. Queen Margaret

Royal Exchange, until 6 October

Jade Anouka stars in a rather special adaptation of three of Shakespeare's plays, penned by Jeanie O'Hare. Splicing together the parts of Henry VI, Elizabeth Freestone's production charts the life of the titular Queen, mother to a fallen king and schemer aiming to upset the British throne in the midst of the War of the Roses. Considering Shakespeare wrote more lines for Margaret than he did for Lear, this looks like a fascinating exploration of a character put centre stage.

Last chance to see: Aristocrats (Donmar Warehouse), Hamilton (Lewis) (King's Head Theatre), Little Shop of Horrors (Open Air Theatre), Sylvia (Old Vic)